Jean-Philippe Mateta: Former Congo U21 star leaves Mainz to join Crystal Palace on loan

Jean-Philippe Mateta
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Following his impressive performance in the German elite division so far this season, the striker of Congolese descent has joined the Eagles

Jean-Philippe Mateta has joined Premier League outfit Crystal Palace on an 18-month loan deal, subject to international clearance, with an option to make the move permanent.

The former France U19 player enjoyed a good start to the 2020-21 season with the Bundesliga outfit – finding the net 10 times in 17 appearances across all competitions.

His presence at Selhurst Park is expected to reinforce Roy Hodgson’s attack in their quest to challenge for a place in Europe next season.

The 23-year-old expressed his delight joining the Eagles while disclosing he is ready for the challenge ahead.

"I’m very happy to come to Crystal Palace and I look forward to training," Mateta told Crystal Palace TV.

"[Playing in the Premier League] was my dream when I was a child. Now I can play, I will show the fans of Crystal Palace what I can do.

"I spoke with him [Hodgson] over the phone but I want to speak with him face to face. [He spoke] French – good French. I know this manager is a good trainer with a good team.

"I have some friends who play in the Premier League who say it’s very intense physically. It’s hard but I will see."

In the same vein, Palace chairman Steve Parish is glad Palace signed the striker, claiming his arrival resonates with the club’s commitment towards having a well-balanced squad.

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“We have followed Jean-Philippe’s development with keen interest for some time, and I’m so pleased that we have been able to bring him to south London.

“He is a player that is full of potential with a proven goalscoring record, and his signing reiterates our commitment to ensuring we have a well-balanced squad in terms of youth and experience for the seasons ahead.”

Mateta commenced his professional career at French third-tier side Chateauroux before moving to seven-time Ligue 1 kings Lyon.

Following his inability to tie up a regular place at the Groupama Stadium, he was loaned to Le Havre before he teamed up with Mainz in 2018 on a four-year-deal. There, he established himself as a regular in the German top-flight, scoring 27 goals in 71 games which included a treble against SC Freiburg on November 22, 2020.

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