Crystal Palace new boy Mateta: Roy Hodgson wanted to sign me before

BY SAM SMITH

New Crystal Palace signing Jean-Philippe Mateta has revealed he was a long-term transfer target for Roy Hodgson.

The Eagles have taken the Frenchman on an 18-month loan from German Bundesliga side Mainz 05 – subject to international clearance – with an option to make it permanent.

Palace were linked with Mateta in the summer transfer window. The 23-year-old told Palace TV: “I’ve spoken to the manager on the phone but I want to speak to him face to face.

“He said he wants me. But I know that he wants me because he didn’t just want me now, he has wanted me before. I know this manager, he is a good trainer. It’s a good team.

“I’m very happy to come to Crystal Palace. I’ve known about this club for a long time because I have a lot of family here [in England]. It’s an old club in England. I’m looking forward to training, I’m very happy.

“It has been my dream to play in the Premier League since I was a child. Now, I can play in the Premier League and reassure the fans of Crystal Palace what I can do.”

Mateta started his career in France with Chateauroux and earned a move to Lyon – but failed to make an impact. He signed for Mainz in 2018 and has thrived in the Bundesliga. The former France U21 international has 10 goals in 17 appearances this season.

“In France I played just the second league. I played just two games in the second league,” he said.

“In Germany it is very tough, every time you are pressing high. In France it is more calm, more technical – but in Germany it is very intense.

“I have friends who play in the Premier League and they say it is very intensive. Physically, it is hard.”

PICTURES: CPFC


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