When referee Andre Marriner blew the full-time whistle to bring the curtain down on Crystal Palace’s season, fans were increasingly worried about what the future holds.
Roy Hodgson’s side drew 1-1 with Tottenham – in a vacuum, not a bad result. It didn’t come in a vacuum. It was the only point they scored in eight games.
The only time the Palace faithful saw the Premier League resume from its coronavirus-hit break was their side picking up three points away to Bournemouth, who were eventually relegated. The Eagles finished 14th with the oldest squad in the division, and it was clear that a change was needed in the summer.
30y 101d – Crystal Palace have today named their oldest ever XI in the Premier League. None of the last 17 teams to name a team with an average age of 30+ in the competition have won (D3 L14). Experience #EECRY
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) February 8, 2020
The club’s fans have been clamoring for an injection of youth into this aging squad for years, and the end of the season made it abundantly clear that if the problem is not resolved this summer, relegation is a very real possibility. Is.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s emergence from Crystal Palace’s youth ranks was a refreshing start to 2018, even if the young right-winger was only given a chance due to the injury crisis. Youth prevailed… until he was sold.
Even with their £50m transfer money to Manchester United in the bank, Palace spent barely £5m in total on James McCarthy and Jordan Ayew. A few months into the season, they were 29 and 28, respectively. Oh, and they brought in 33-year-old Gary Cahill for free.
However, this summer, a different blueprint has been made.
It’s refreshing to see, and that’s what fans want. Young players with potential, who have earned their right to play Premier League football.
✍️ Welcome to Palace, Nathan Ferguson! #CPFC
— Crystal Palace FC (@CPFC) July 21, 2020
The club’s first summer signing, Nathan Ferguson, joined the Eagles on a free transfer after his contract at West Brom expired. Palace had been tracking the defender for a while, after an injury-hit January switch found them six months later than planned.
The 19-year-old would be a welcome addition to Roy Hodgson’s squad, offering Joel Ward some serious competition at right-back, while also being able to play at center-back and left-back.
It was a great cup for the club, but it set the tone for something even better.
Ebreche is likely to be one of Queens Park Rangers’ most sought-after players this summer after an impressive season in the Championship. Sheffield United were linked, but so were Spurs and Arsenal after a season of 14 goals and eight assists.
However, the castles were about to fall to the British. A young, ambitious player looking to make his mark in the Premier League chose this new project for Crystal Palace.
With or without Wilfried Zaha, Crystal Palace fans will have a new hero on the pitch at Selhurst Park, and that’s a welcome prospect.
I know it [roaming] That’s what the manager wants me to do, he wants me to link up and feel free to go where I want to go and where I feel comfortable.” #CPFC | https://t.co/utMcYSDkhb pic.twitter .com /UN4278FwAh
— Crystal Palace FC (@CPFC) August 31, 2020
Roy Hodgson has already told the youngster that he has a lot of freedom in the Castle attack, which shows how much confidence he has in him. The new youth additions are what he refers to as ‘assembling the jigsaw’, with Eze and Ferguson being the first step on the way.
He said: “With recent signing Nathan Ferguson, we are putting the pieces of our jigsaw together in terms of bringing in some new, young players into our squad who will provide the quality and energy we have been looking for. highlighted that it is necessary for us. Step forward.”
Crystal Palace are also closing in on their third signing of the summer, official and another one who fits the bill.
Chelsea midfielder Conor Gallagher spent 2019/20 on two loan spells. The Englishman was initially sent to Charlton, before his parent club recalled him and sent him to Swansea City, a side atop the Championship table.
Conor Gallagher had six goals and 11 assists in 45 Championship games last season / Athena Pictures/Getty Images
With Gallagher flourishing in both loan moves, Crystal Palace are set to take the youngster on loan for the 2020/21 campaign – with his medical reportedly completed on Monday.
The respective introductions of Gallagher, Aze and Ferguson, competing for places with 20-year-old academy graduate Tyreek Mitchell, should bring that new burst of youth that Crystal Palace fans have longed for.
Whether it’s bringing out the best in older players fighting to keep their place, or giving younger players a chance, a new era is here at Crystal Palace.