Crystal Palace has been off to a hot start in the Premier League, currently sitting sixth on the table after a 1-0 win over Watford this weekend.
One of the reasons Palace has been so successful has been the play of Bakary Sako, who has two goals in four matches for the Eagles.
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Sako moved to Selhurst Park on a free transfer this summer from Wolves in the Championship, but said he turned down “crazy money” from teams in the Middle East to have a chance to play in the Premier League.
I could have gone to Qatar or Dubai for crazy money, but I actually came here for less because I wanted to play in the Premier League
At my age I am not playing for money.
This is an attractive team that plays football that suits me. This club gave me my chance and I want to do well for them.
Teams in the Middle East have been known to lure players with massive contracts, seen when Asamoah Gyan left Sunderland to play for Al-Ain. Xavi and Juninho also left top European clubs to play in Qatar, although both of those players were in the latter stages of their careers.
While you can never fault a player for taking a big contract to look out for themselves and their future, Sako’s decision to join Crystal Palace shows he is determined to play at the highest level possible. He’s proven he is capable of doing so, and should continue to be a key part of Alan Pardew‘s plans at Selhurst Park.