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Marco Silva praises key midfielder after last-gasp draw at Arsenal

Palhinha scored an unlikely equalizer in the 87th minute after the Gunners fought back from an early 1-0 deficit to pull in front after a much-improved second-half performance.

Premier League title challengers Arsenal were denied all three points in front of home support at the Emirates Stadium earlier today after fellow capital side Fulham rescued a point away from Craven Cottage during a 2-2 draw, with boss Marco Silva not holding back his praise of key midfielder João Palhinha.

Palhinha scored an unlikely equalizer in the 87th minute after the Gunners fought back from an early 1-0 deficit to pull in front after a much-improved second-half performance.

Despite Fulham taking the odd chance that was afforded to them while making good on key mistakes at the back by Mikel Arteta’s Gunners regardless of going down a man, the Cottagers were relatively lucky to come away with anything on the day, but that has not stopped Silva from bigging up the club’s key holding midfielder after a summer window that could have played out very differently.

“He’s key player for us, absolutely.” Silva said. “That’s why we did everything to sign him and the club did everything to keep him this summer”

Palhinha was the subject of serious interest from West Ham United after the Hammers made a play at the Portuguese international with a £45m bid that was ultimately turned away by Fulham in the wake of his performances in 2022-23 putting him down as one of the top defensive midfielders in the Premier League.

And thus far, the club’s decision to keep him has already paid off in spades.

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Andrew Thompson

US-based Football writer. German football guru with a wealth of experience in youth development and analysis. Data aficionado. Happily championing the notion that Americans have a knowledgeable voice in the beautiful game.

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