Tyrick Mitchell, Conor Gallagher and Mark Guehi all earned England call-ups over last season due to their consistency and outstanding contributions to Patrick Vieira’s side, and the French manager has made the development of young talent a key part of his philosophy during his short time so far at Selhurst Park.
Despite his integration of flourishing rising stars, there are still some players that have remained a part of the squad since Vieira took the reigns in south London, with Jordan Ayew one of the only remaining senior players to make the cut and to still feature in the team regularly.
However, with his goal contributions drying up and the striker turning 31 years old this month, it could be time for the Palace boss to start considering his options when it comes to reinventing and refreshing his forward line next summer when Ayew will be out of contract.
Vieira perhaps will not have to look far for Ayew’s successor when the time comes to phase out the Ghanaian number nine and Palace could save millions on their next striker to take up the central role.
Luke Plange is currently on loan with RWD Molenbeek in Belgium, with one goal and one assist over three appearances so far, but his most notable performances came last season in the Championship with Derby County.
Over 26 appearances, the 19-year-old scored four goals, delivered two assists and created two big chances in his first season playing at a senior level, scoring more goals in Wayne Rooney’s team than Ayew scored (3) in 31 Premier League appearances last season for Palace.
Plange who was hailed a “real threat” by Crystal Palace assistant manager Osian Roberts, also earned high praise from one of the best strikers to grace English football as former manager and England all-time top goal scorer when Rooney spoke out on the young forward last season:
“Luke Plange has a bit of everything in his game.
“He can run in behind teams, he’s quick and he is also strong enough to hold the ball up. As well as that, he’s a clever player and also a finisher.”
With that being said, Plange is certainly a prospect that Vieira should be keeping a close eye on over the coming months as he could flourish and even be an upgrade on Ayew over the years ahead if he is given the chance to shine at Selhurst Park.