Milivojevic pens new Palace deal
Crystal Palace captain Luka Milivojevic has signed a new contract until the summer of 2023.
Serbia international Milivojevic first arrived at Selhurst Park from Olympiacos on deadline day in January 2017 on a three-and-a-half-year contract for a fee believed to be in the region of £16million.
The midfielder scored two goals from 14 Premier League appearances during his first five months at the club, before notching 10 in the 2017/18 campaign to finish as Palace’s leading goalscorer.
Last season proved to be even better for the 28-year-old, who was one of just three players to play every minute in the league last season as he hit the back of the net 12 times, topping the club’s scoring charts for the second straight year.
The Kragujevac-born star has developed a reputation for being one of the best penalty-takers in the PL, having scored from the spot 19 times since arriving in England, and the introduction of VAR this season could give him more chances to score from 18 yards out.
With Milivojevic’s former deal running out next summer, Palace boss Roy Hodgson has managed to tie the club captain down to a new four-year contract, keeping him at Selhurst Park until June 2023.
The skipper will be hoping to make a strong start to the new Premier League season when Palace play host to Everton, who have been spending big this summer as they look to break into the top six.
Hodgson’s men finished 12th in the standings last term but they are facing a tough challenge to avoid dropping down to the Championship.
Former England international Gary Cahill and goalkeeper Stephen Henderson both arrived on free transfers, while Victor Camarasa joined on loan from Real Betis.
Irish midfielder James McCarthy and forward Jordan Ayew were also added to the ranks, but the biggest deal looks to be Wilfried Zaha still being at the club.
The Ivory Coast international was keen to leave and even handed in a transfer request, but the Eagles stayed strong and turned down a reported £70million offer from the Toffees.
Zaha, who returned to Selhurst Park for a second stint in 2015 after a failed spell at Manchester United, is expected to start the encounter, despite revealing his frustration at not being able to move onto new pastures.
Speaking about the forward’s state of mind at a press conference, Hodgson said: “I can’t say to you that he is jubilant, I can’t say to you that he is delighted with the situation because it’s not the outcome that he wanted.”