​Crystal Palace have officially concluded the signing of 21-year-old Swedish midfielder Erdal Rakip on loan from Portuguese champions Benfica until the end of the season.

Rakip, who was a four-time Swedish Allsvenkan champion with Malmo after establishing himself from the age of 18, only moved to Portugal earlier this month. But he has been allowed to join Palace temporarily and represents Roy Hodgson's first completed January signing.

The Eagles boss has a deep knowledge of Scandinavian football after spending much time coaching in Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland during his lengthy career to date.

Although he only recently joined Benfica, Rakip has Champions League football from his time at Malmo and has played 16 times, including qualifiers, in Europe's elite club competition.

Five of those came in the 2015/16 group stage when Malmo found themselves up against ​Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain and Shakhtar Donetsk.


Rakip has played junior international football for Sweden at Under-17, Under-19 and Under-21 level, but is yet to feature for the senior side. It means his international prospects remains open as he also holds Macedonian citizenship and has roots in Albania and Turkey.

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