As pre season begins to finally start for Crystal Palace, fans will be excited to see the team play. Their first games will take place in Singapore and Australia, with games against Manchester United and Liverpool. However, any hopes of seeing some of the elite platers in the squad take part in these games has been dashed due to entry requirements in the aforementioned nations.
Palace will be leaving many of their star players behind, thanks to the fact that the players do not meet the ‘entry requirements’ at the time when the travel arrangements were made. For many, this likely means their COVID-19 vaccination status is not quite at the level that the nations would want. Both Singapore and Australia have pretty stringent regulations. While this might mean that some players are fully unvaccinated, for others it might mean they simply have not received the correct number of doses.
Right now, though, it means players like Marc Guehi, Eberechi Eze, Michael Olise, Wilfried Zaha, and Christian Benteke will be left behind in England. So, too, will the likes of Jeff Schlupp, Will Hughes, and James McArthur. Safe to say, then, that coach Patrick Vieira will have to get pretty creative with how he lines up this summer!
Headache with squad selection likely to give youth a chance
The bright side of this is that while many players are missing out, younger players will take their place. This could see some younger players who are on the verge of the first team get a chance to come in. At the same time, though, it could also mean that others who have not been given a chance before get to fill in. Many careers have been built on the back of taking such an opportunity; who knows? We could look back at this rather annoying headache as a blessing in disguise.
South London is a football hotbed and the Crystal Palace academy is among the best in the league. This means that there could be someone who the fans have not seen yet at senior level given a chance. And given the profile of the opposition, they could get the chance to shine against two of the biggest clubs on the planet.
This should be exciting for anyone keen to see Palace continue their strong youth development approach. With so many young players given chances in the last few years, the conveyor belt has been running smoothly. The secret is now to make a choice based on what happens next – can these players make a major first team contribution? Or are they simply going to be filling in the slots on the bench until the club can get back to the UK?
Either way, the pre-season has now taken on an interesting style that should give fans something new to see. For now, though, any hope of seeing how the squad is developing at the very top might need to wait until the tour is over.