Marc Guehi is the latest arrival in Palace’s youth revolution under Patrick Vieira… with Ebere Eze, Michael Olise and Tyrick Mitchell ready to light up the Premier League, the Eagles could be one of the most exciting teams to watch in 2021-22
- Patrick Vieira will be hoping a youth revolution gets his tenure off to a flyer
- The Frenchman was a left-field choice as Crystal Palace’s new manager
- But new signings Michael Olise and Marc Guehi give reason for real optimism
- With likes of Ebere Eze and Tyrick Mitchell too, potential for excitement is there
- Sportsmail takes a look at the young guns leading the new era at Selhurst Park
After four years under Roy Hodgson, Crystal Palace now step into the unknown under new boss Patrick Vieira – but do so with reason to be excited.
The last time they replaced an experienced manager with someone who had never managed in the Premier League, the experiment lasted just five matches.
But Vieira can be confident he will be at Selhurst Park significantly longer than Frank de Boer managed, with a crop of young talent leading the cause for optimism.
Patrick Vieira will be hoping Crystal Palace’s young stars will get his reign off to a flying start
The South London club appointed the Frenchman as Roy Hodgson’s successor this summer
Michael Olise and Marc Guehi have already joined the club this summer as the Frenchman assembles his squad. The group of players available to him, particularly in forward areas, suggest entertaining, attacking football is more than possible.
It remains to be seen how Vieira chooses to set up his team, and how cautious he decides to be, but the next generation of talent at Palace are capable of kicking off his tenure in style and leading a youth revolution.
Sportsmail takes a look at the young stars at the forefront of the new era at Selhurst Park, whether they be new faces or those already established in the first-team.
Palace have wasted no time in adding to the players at Vieira’s disposal ahead of the new season.
Earlier this month, the South London side announced the signing of Olise from Reading for £8m. The 19-year-old was the EFL Young Player of the Season last campaign.
The arrival of Michael Olise will add even more youth and excitement to Palace going forward
Vieira’s new No 7 scored seven goals and provided 12 assists for his team-mates last season, and will provide real excitement from attacking midfield for his new club.
There will also be a solid base to go with that attacking talent. Palace have splashed out £18m to bring Guehi to Selhurst Park, with the centre back joining from Chelsea and signing a five-year deal.
Guehi, 21, spent last season on loan at Swansea and made 45 appearances for the Welsh club, including every minute of their play-off campaign.
He has represented England at every level from U16 through to U21, and has spoken about how Palace’s crop of young talent helped convince him to join.
Palace splashed out £18m to sign talented 21-year-old centre back Marc Guehi from Chelsea
‘[The club is taking] a really exciting direction with the new gaffer that’s come in,’ Guehi said.
‘A lot of good young players are here and obviously such a stable club with top players really enticed me and made me want to come.’
Only Southampton and West Brom conceded more Premier League goals than Palace last season, so Vieira will be hoping Guehi can help solidify the back-line.
Stars to return
Ebere Eze produced a series of top performances for Palace last season following his £19.5m move from QPR a year ago, so much so that a call-up for Gareth Southgate’s Euro 2020 squad was on the cards.
But a serious achilles injury suffered in training at the back end of the campaign means that the 23-year-old will miss a large chunk of the upcoming season.
Cruelly, it was reported that the youngster was injured in a training session and upon his return to the changing rooms he found a message telling him he was to be included in England’s provisional Euros squad.
A return in early 2022 seems most likely, even if Palace fans were extremely excited to see Eze without crutches in a recent post from the club on social media.
Ebere Eze is likely out until 2022 but can light up the Premier League again when he returns
Vieira will have a brilliantly exciting young talent on his hands when Eze does return to first-team action, and a player who alongside Olise and Wilfried Zaha can threaten any defence they come up against.
Nathan Ferguson joined Palace last summer from West Brom, but injury problems mean he is yet to make his first appearance for the club.
A knee issue was a problem when Ferguson arrived at Selhurst Park, and setbacks have then followed during his rehab.
Persistent injuries have prevented Nathan Ferguson from making his first Palace appearance
The right back was approaching full fitness towards the end of last season, but tore his achilles in training in a similar incident to Eze’s. It’s hoped that Ferguson will return before the end of 2021, and when he does Palace will be hoping the 20-year-old makes up for lost time.
Talent from the academy
Zaha needs no introduction or any explanation over how important he is to this Crystal Palace side, and the club will be desperate to ensure their star man stays at Selhurst Park alongside the talented squad being built.
The 28-year-old, who has now been at the club for 16 years, scored the only goal as Palace beat Walsall 1-0 on Saturday to get Vieira’s reign off to a winning start.
Rob Street started Vieira’s first match in charge and assisted Wilfried Zaha’s first-half goal
The goal was set up by Rob Street, the 19-year-old striker chosen by Vieira to start up front alongside Zaha. While Christian Benteke was impressive last season, reaching double figures in the league, Street will be hoping Vieira regularly turns to youth this campaign.
Tyrick Mitchell also started against Walsall, and is a player who came through the academy and has now established themselves in the first-team.
He made 19 league appearances under Hodgson last season, and even chipped in with a goal and an assist in the 3-2 win over Aston Villa in May.
With Patrick van Aanholt having left the club this summer, the opportunity is there for Mitchell to make himself first-choice on the left of Vieira’s defence.
There are also an incredible group of academy stars ready to burst through, with the likes of Jesurun Rak-Sakyi, David Omilabu and Scott Banks to name just three.
Tyrick Mitchell is ready to make himself the club’s first-choice left back under the new boss
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