Hopkin Looking To Curl One…

A regular blog dedicated to Crystal Palace Football Club through the eyes of a fanatical supporter, contemplating everything from results to the colour of Stuart O'Keefe's boot laces…

Palace Have Been On A Surprise European Scouting Mission

According to a report in Sports Witness, Crystal Palace sent scouts to watch last weekend’s clash between Benfica and Porto, ahead of what is expected to be a busy summer in the transfer market for the south Londoners.

With Portuguese news outlet O Jogo claiming that Palace were one of a number of Premier League clubs who sent representatives to the clash, there remains no concrete details over who they happened to be taking a closer look at, leading many to assume that they were simply there with an open mind in terms of potential transfer targets.

Thanks to the vastly differing financial circumstances in the English and Portuguese leagues, the latter are regularly being forced to offload their most highly prized assets to balance the books, with Premier League clubs more often than not, willing to sniff around for what they perceive to be a bargain.

After Alan Pardew’s comments alluding to a different transfer policy at the club in the months to come, thanks to the lofty ambitions of both he and the owners, we are now realistically able to look towards players from sides like Benfica and Porto without too much fear of being priced out of the market, should we really feel that they are worth fighting for.

Despite no further details over who we may have been watching specifically, there is undoubtedly a change of ethos taking place at Selhurst Park, with the analogy of Pardew and co. now doing their weekly shop at Waitrose rather than Lidl handily describing our change of mentality since all but mathematically securing our Premier League status a few weeks ago.

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Pardew Feels Academy Man Is Good Enough For The First-Team

Palace academy graduate Hiram Boateng has impressed manager Alan Pardew in recent weeks, with his assistant Keith Millen giving the impression that he may be given a few minutes in the first-team before the season comes to a close.

With the news last week that the likes of Reise Allassani, Ryan Inniss and Jake Gray were being given professional deals by the club, it’s fair to say that Pardew views the academy as an important part of our long-term future, which many in the stands will be thankful for, given the tradition of youth development that has always been a part of life in SE25.

Boateng, a physically commanding central midfielder, has been training with the squad for a while now, and after one or two appearances on the substitute’s bench in weeks gone by, Millen’s words could easily lead to the assumption that Pardew is readying him for a cameo appearance.

He told the Croydon Advertiser:

From a first team point of view, Hiram has been around the first team now for quite a while and he’s been looking good.

The manager certainly likes him. That’s always good and he’s got a new contract, Hiram has got all the attributes there and he’s been training well with the first team.”

With three extremely tough games against Chelsea, Manchester United and Liverpool on the horizon, it may be a little tricky to involve the youngster too often between now and the summer, but if nothing else, there is a sense of willingness from the coaching staff to progress the careers of those who are performing best in the academy setup.

Thanks to the physicality of his game, Boateng is more than likely to flourish in the top flight if given a little time to adjust, with a full pre-season between now and August perhaps being enough to propel him towards a feasible shout for a regular place amongst the match day squad.

For rolling news and comment on everything happening at Crystal Palace FC, follow Hopkin Looking To Curl One… on twitter by clicking here…

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