Pape Souare: Crystal Palace allow former defender to train at the club

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Crystal Palace have confirmed former defender Pape Souare will be allowed to train with the U23 squad during pre-season.

The Premier League club has said in a statement they have accepted to have the 31-year-old Senegalese player train with the youth side in a bid to help him find a new club.

“Former Crystal Palace defender Pape Souare will play for the U23s during pre-season, as the club is supporting him in his attempts to find a new playing opportunity,” read a statement from the club.

“Souare has been training at the Academy since the start of pre-season, which has helped him maintain fitness.

“It has been a mutually beneficial arrangement, as Souare’s presence has provided an extremely positive experience for the club’s younger players.”

Following the expiry of his contract with Palace in 2019, Souare secured a one-year contract with French Ligue 2 club Troyes with the option of a further year.

Born in Mbao, Pikine Department, Souare spent his early career with Diambars, Lille II, Lille, and Reims. He moved to Palace on a three-and-a-half-year deal in January 2015 for an undisclosed fee, reported as £3.45 million.

He made his Palace debut on February 14 in the fifth round of the FA Cup, a 2-1 home loss to Liverpool, and on January 22, 2016, it was announced that Souare had signed a new three-and-a-half-year contract with Palace.

He was sent off on February 13 at the end of a 2-1 loss to Watford at Selhurst Park, for fouling Valon Behrami.

Souare made his international debut for Senegal on February 29, 2012, in a goalless friendly draw against South Africa at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban, he later competed at the 2012 Summer Olympics and was also a squad member at the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations.

He scored his first international goal from a 20-yard free-kick on March 29, 2016, as the Lions de Teranga won 2-1 away to Niger in the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualification.

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On Monday, Palace under coach Patrick Vieira confirmed the signing of Marc Guehi from Chelsea on a five-year deal.

On signing the deal, Guehi said: "I’m very excited. It’s a great opportunity for me to come to such a big club in the Premier League. I’m really excited to get going," he told Palace's website.

"[The club is taking] a really exciting direction with the new gaffer that’s come in. A lot of good young players are here and obviously, such a stable club with top players really enticed me and made me want to come."