Crystal Palace have signed Benfica midfielder Erdal Rakip on loan until the end of the season.
Rakip joined Benfica from Malmo only three weeks ago but has been allowed immediately to leave the Portugese club.
He is Roy Hodgson’s first signing as Palace manager. Hodgson led Malmo to five consecutive league titles in the 1980s.
A Sweden under-21 international, Rakip’s arrival at Selhurst Park will be particularly welcome given Ruben Loftus-Cheek could miss much of the second half of the season with an ankle injury.
Rakip came through the youth system at Malmo and helped them win the Allsvenska, the Swedish league title, last term. He also has played 16 times in the Champions League.
“I believe this is a league that suits me and my way of playing,” Rakip told the official club website.
“It’s fast-paced and physically intense, and I’m a classic, balanced number six – a box-to-box player who runs up and down the field.
“I hope to adapt quickly in order to help the team and show my qualities. I have been training since the season ended and I feel fit and ready to play straight away.”
On Hodgson, Rakip added: “It will be an honour playing for Roy. He is a legend in Malmo and everyone know who he is.”
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