Nigel Reo-Coker’s offseason move to the Montreal Impact has helped him kick-start his career, and it’s apparently caught the attention of some influential observers back home in England.
ESPN FC reported on Tuesday that the gritty midfielder has popped onto the radar of English Premier League club Crystal Palace, who are considering an attempt to coax Reo-Coker back to his native land for the 2015-16 EPL campaign.
Having carved out a comfortable spot in mid-table to stay above the relegation dogfight, the London club has begun to make its plans for next season. Manager Alan Pardew has worked well with Reo-Coker in the past, and it seems he sees him as a useful component for his squad in his first full year in charge of the Eagles.
“Pardew is a big fan of Reo-Coker, signing him at West Ham and naming him club captain,” writes ESPN FC’s Pete O’Rourke. “Pardew believes the defensive midfielder still has a lot to offer, and he hopes to lure Reo-Coker back to England this summer.”
But IMFC officials poured cold water on the prospect of an imminent departure.
"What I can tell you is that Crystal Palace never contacted us about Reo-Coker," an Impact spokesperson told MLSsoccer.com on Tuesday afternoon.
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Reo-Coker, who turns 31 this month, joined the Vancouver Whitecaps from English side Ipswich Town in February 2013. He was traded to Chivas USA in exchange for Mauro Rosales last August, then joined Montreal via the MLS Waiver Draft over the winter after the Goats folded at the end of the 2014 season.
A holding or box-to-box midfielder also capable of deputizing at right back, Reo-Coker quickly carved out a central role in the Impact engine room and even earned the captain’s armband as the Canadian side mounted a Cinderella run to the CONCACAF Champions League final this spring.