Four Academy Players that Could Save Crystal Palace Millions this Summer
Crystal Palace are a club with a visible talent for recognising youth prodigies. In recent seasons, the Eagles have recruited brilliantly. The acquisitions of Michael Olise from Reading, Eberechi Eze from QPR (who recently received his first England call-up), as well as Marc Guehi from Chelsea, have all borne fruit. While none of the aforementioned were products of the Palace youth system, it’s self-evident that the hierarchy at the South East-London club have a penchant for uncovering future stars, and more importantly helping players realise untapped potential.
The integration of Academy graduates is always a topic that divides opinion. The loan market is prolific, and naturally, a popular option for clubs looking to further nurture their young players in a more competitive, physically-demanding environment. With a number of Palace’s young starlets shining in the lower leagues last season, perhaps Steve Parish, sporting director Dougie Freedman, and whoever finds themselves in the Selhurst Park dugout next season would be wise to look towards their Academy products to ease the financial burden of a summer recruitment drive.
Below, we take a look at four talented Palace academy products who could do a job in the first-team squad and therefore potentially save the Eagles a small fortune in the transfer market.
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Jesurun Rak-Sakyi – Right Sided Attacker
Palace aren’t a side short of attacking talent, and there is one player in particular that has many Palace fans excited, as podcaster and Twitter’s resident Crystal Palace expert HLTCO told GiveMeSport: “If I had to pick one of the academy graduates to make the step-up it would be Jesurun Rak- Sakyi.”
“With him returning this summer, there’s still some uncertainty around whether he’ll be sent out on a Championship loan”
“He was ripping it up for us in the Palace Under-21s, and went out on loan to Charlton last season, where he scored all sorts of goals and assists. He won Charlton’s Supporters Player of the Year to boot.”
“Although, I’d caveat that with the fact Michael Olise plays on the right (Rak-Sakyi’s position). Saying that, with the Wilfried Zaha situation still very much up in the air, Rak-Sakyi is certainly a player on a lot of Crystal Palace fans’ minds.”
David Ozoh – Central Midfielder
Born in Valencia, bred on the pitches of Palace’s South London Academy, central midfielder David Ozoh is an imposing specimen at just 18 years old. A technically gifted footballer, with bags of raw ability, Ozoh has been a player constantly one step ahead of his age, consistently playing with older age groups right the way through his development. It’s unsurprising he’s already made the step-up to the first-team, with a four-minute cameo in the Premier League against Newcastle. As the club’s youngest ever Premier League player the midfielder certainly has a bright future ahead.
Tayo Adaramola – Left-Back
The Irish left-back is still just 19 years of age, and with plenty of room to grow as a player, he’s an exciting backup to another Palace graduate, Tyrick Mitchell. Having been at Palace since 2015, the prospect signed his first professional contract in 2020 and has since gone on to feature for the first team in two FA Cup games in the 22-23 campaign.
John Kymani-Gordon – Striker
On loan at Carlisle United during the 2022-23 season, John Kymani-Gordon helped the Cumbrian side to promotion to League One. Starring in their play-off second-leg victory against Bradford, the striker made 10 league starts and scored two goals last term, and could certainly add value to Palace going forward.