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January 26, 2021 11:15 pm
Cheikhou Kouyaté provides the main interview in Crystal Palace’s matchday programme against Wolverhampton Wanderers, with the upbeat No.8 delving in to his charismatic nature and eternally positive mindset.
Kouyaté reveals how significant religion is in his life, how strains as a young, aspiring player have shaped in today and the impact his family have on his career.
“[In Senegal], young people don’t have a little bit of money to have things,” he says. “It’s very, very hard. If you’re a footballer, sometimes you need to come to Europe to play and help your family. It’s not easy.
“[An RWDM Brussels scout] said: ‘I want you to come to Europe.’ I was so happy but I remember my mum did not want me to go. She said: ‘You’re too young to go to Europe.’ My grandmother said to me: ‘You want to go?… I’m going to ask her.’ After 48 hours, my mum said: ‘Okay, you can go.’ I was so, so, so happy for that.
“It’s not easy if you’re a footballer there [Senegal] because it’s not the same league to Europe – Africa doesn’t have the same mentality. It’s very hard. The first time I came to Europe I said thanks to God because I knew I was going to work hard to help my family. This has always been my dream.”
On top of our main feature with Kouyaté, Darren Ambrose reveals how Hayden Mullins and Lawrie Sanchez persuaded him to move to Greece, we introduce you to the Under-18s’ top scorer David Omliabu and Shaun Derry discusses the impact of loans on the Under-23s.
On top of this, Roy Hodgson, Steve Parish and Luka Milivojević offer their pre-match views, we break down Wolves’ tactics and catch-up with the club’s longest-serving member of staff.
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