It may have taken 17 months, but Crystal Palace have finally handed out a debut to Nathan Ferguson after signing the star from West Bromwich Albion back in 2020.
Although the debut will be one to savour for the £8million-rated star, the game was one to forget for Palace as they were beaten 3-0 by Tottenham.
The reverse fixture ended 3-0 to Palace at Selhurst Park as Japhet Tanganga was shown a red card during the match, but the roles were reversed on Sunday as Wilfried Zaha was sent off, with Palace on the receiving end of the same scoreline.
There weren't many positives from a Palace perspective, but a late cameo from Ferguson did allow for some consolation, as the highly-rated star finally made his bow for the south London side.
After months of heavy interest, Palace announced the signing of Ferguson back in July 2020, but it caused heavy controversy at the time with parent side West Brom.
Palace had agreed a deal to sign Ferguson for £8m in January, six months prior to his eventual move to Selhurst Park, but an injury at the time stopped the deal from taking place.
With Ferguson's contract expiring the following summer, Palace waited and signed him at the end of his deal, making a huge saving as no transfer fee was exchanged.
West Brom were understandably furious as they had seen £8m evade them, but they did receive a little compensation as Palace were ordered to pay then £900,000 after they took the matter to a tribunal.
Ferguson's initial injury back in 2020 should have been a sign of what was to come, but Palace took the gamble anyway, only for the defender to be plagued with injury for the 17 gruelling months that followed.
Remarkably, the star is still only 21 though, and his late appearance against Tottenham was his first in a Palace shirt, something that Ferguson has been desperately longing for.
The young defender came through the West Brom youth academy after joining their ranks at the age of eight, and was handed his first professional deal as a 17-year-old.
Palace waited in the wings until his three-year-deal expired, but they will be hoping to keep the talented star fit, as his career is still yet to get going.
The Eagles have also experienced success with young defender Tyrick Mitchell, and will be hoping that they can get both youngsters firing in a new look defence under Patrick Viera.
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