Crystal Palace’s game against Manchester United was special. Not just because it was the Eagles’ first victory at Old Trafford in the Premier League era, but because of a highly-rated youngster’s much anticipated debut.
His form has been consistently excellent all season and did not go unnoticed. The 19-year-old was recently named Crystal Palace’s U23 player of the season and consequently, was presented with a well-earned opportunity to make his full Premier League debut against an out of shape Manchester United side.
Rak-Sakyi made sure to carry out the basics in his debut, and whilst it did not go exactly how he would have wanted it to, there were promising signs.
It was his desire to win-back possession that stood out most, with his five recoveries demonstrative of his work rate in the out-of-possession phase a key strength.
At the age of 30, with limited attacking participations, Vieira’s hesitancy in signing the player indicates that the Palace boss would be open to a more direct option on the right wing.
That’s why the future bodes well for Rak-Sakyi, who offers a more direct and inverted approach in the half-space and chips in defensively just like Ayew.
The future is bright for Rak-Sakyi and the Palace faithful will surely be anticipating big things from a player who has forced his way into the team at the age of 19 and is “holding his own” in the words of BBC reporter Alex Howell.