Crystal Palace’s managerial search is over after they confirmed Patrick Vieira as their new boss.
The Frenchman has signed a deal until 2024, the former Nice coach succeeding Roy Hodgson at Selhurst Park.
Former Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo had seemed a likely candidate to come in, with Palace having at one point been confident of appointing the Portuguese, only for the move to break down.
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Nuno has since joined Tottenham, while Palace were also close to handing the job to ex-Borussia Dortmund coach Lucien Favre, though the Swiss then turned down the opportunity after talks had initially progressed well.
However, Palace have now made their choice, with Arsenal great Vieira, who helped the Gunners to three Premier League titles, penning a three-year contract.
“I am really excited to have this opportunity to return to the Premier League, and manage this great football club, as we begin a new chapter together,” the 45-year-old told the club’s official website.
“The club has fantastic foundations in place after many years in the Premier League, and I hope we can make further improvements and continue to drive the club forward.”
Vieira began his coaching career with Manchester City, where he had seen out his playing days, and was appointed as head coach of sister club New York City FC in 2015.
After success in MLS, Vieira joined Nice in 2018, succeeding Favre, securing seventh and fifth-placed finishes respectively in his two seasons in charge.
He was sacked in December 2020, having won 35 of his 89 games in charge across all competitions, losing 32.
Vieira’s Nice team were stronger at home, with 24 of his victories coming at the Allianz Riviera, compared to 11 on the road. They averaged 55.53 per cent of the possession in matches – in contrast, Palace averaged just 39.9 per cent across 38 Premier League games last term.
Under Vieira, Nice scored 106 goals, not quite managing to match their expected goals (xG) total of 110.59, though their 115 goals conceded fell short of their expected goals against (xGA) tally of 122.59.
Vieira was not too heavily reliant on set-pieces when it came to chance creation, with his Nice team crafting 596 of 720 goalscoring opportunities from open play.
This may suit Palace, who created 38 chances from set-pieces in the league last season, the joint third-lowest in the division alongside Leicester City and ahead of only Sheffield United (35) and Arsenal (31).