LONDON (Reuters) - New Crystal Palace manager Frank de Boer said he wants to make the team a “solid Premier League club” after he signed a three-year contract with the south London side on Monday.
The former Ajax Amsterdam coach, who has been out of work since he was sacked by Serie A club Inter in November, said he had been assessing the Palace squad before they report back for pre-season training next month.
“I did my homework and we have a solid squad,” De Boer told the club website. “Of course, they struggled last season especially in the beginning, but with Sam Allardyce they managed to get out of the relegation zone.
“To be a solid Premier League team and not to struggle against relegation — that’s the main target. If we can do more that’s nice.”
The south London club have been without a manager since Allardyce opted to leave at the end of last season after securing their top flight survival.
De Boer, 47, played for Ajax and Barcelona during a distinguished career which also saw him make 112 appearances for the Dutch national team.
He also had a six-month stint at Rangers in 2004 during the final phase of his playing career before joining Netherlands national side as assistant manager from 2008 to 2010.
Palace chairman Steve Parish said he was impressed by De Boer’s track record of promoting youngsters at Ajax, where he won four consecutive Eredivisie titles between 2011 and 2015.
“We have undertaken a thorough interview process to ensure we are in a position to appoint a manager of the calibre and experience that Frank brings with him,” said Parish.
“It’s fantastically exciting for this football club, an amazing milestone for us. I am excited to work with him and by what we can achieve with the club.”
De Boer, who became Palace’s fifth permanent manager in four years, is the first foreign boss at the club since Italian Attilio Lombardo’s brief spell as a caretaker in 1998.
Palace recorded 41 points and finished 14th in the league last season with 12 victories in 38 games.
Reporting by Simon Evans and Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Ken Ferris and Hugh Lawson