Michael Olise was Crystal Palace’s standout performer in the Eagles’ 2-1 comeback win away to Millwall in the FA Cup third round on Saturday afternoon.
The Premier League outfit had gone 1-0 down after Benik Afobe capitalised on a Jack Butland howler before Patrick Vieira’s side turned their fortunes around to secure their place in the fourth round, with the 20-year-old at the heart of the comeback.
Having signed from Championship outfit Reading last year for a fee of around £8m, the Frenchman has endured a mixed start to life in south London, managing just two starts in the Premier League thus far.
However, Olise has made 13 appearances in the top flight, scoring two goals and registering three assists. Having played 460 minutes of league football, the youngster is averaging a goal involvement every 92 minutes, an impressive return for him in his debut campaign at that level.
Palace’s cup tie with their London rivals proved to be an opportunity for the talented Frenchman to make a real impression on his manager, and that opportunity was grabbed with both hands.
The winger equalised almost immediately after half-time, scoring with a spectacular curling finish off of the far post after cutting in from the right-hand side, netting his third goal of the campaign in his third senior start.
Just 12 minutes later, he produced an excellent delivery into the box for an unmarked Jean-Philippe Mateta to head home and ultimately settle the contest in Palace’s favour. Moreover, Olise could’ve had a brace of similar goals, having struck the woodwork with another audacious effort from the right flank.
Conor Gallagher may be Palace’s best player of the season so far according to WhoScored figures, but according to SofaScore, he was outshone today by the 20-year-old. Olise was the website’s man of the match as he earned a standout rating of 8.5/10, although it wasn’t just his goal contributions which marked him out as the pick of the bunch at The Den.
The £34k-p/w talent also had 48 touches down the right flank before being withdrawn in the 88th minute, as well as successfully completing two of his three dribbles. Defensively, he won five duels and two tackles, so he also pitched in with his share of work out of possession.
Today’s match was was certainly an opportunity for Olise to prove a point to his manager, who may now believe that he was mistaken to give the 20-year-old so few chances from the start during the season so far.
The question now is whether will we see more of the French youngster in the Eagles’ starting XI during the second half of the campaign.
In other news, Palace have been linked with this promising forward…