Crystal Palace have become a hub for young talent ever since Patrick Vieira took the reigns at Selhurst Park in 2021, and it is clearly a philosophy that has worked for the club owing to the entertaining and energetic performances put on in the Premier League over the last 18 months.
The former Arsenal midfielder has inspired a youthful revolution in south London where the club employs some of the hottest young prospects in the league with Tyrick Mitchell, Marc Guehi, Michael Olise, and Eberechi Eze all thriving under the management of Vieira.
The side is still filled with the senior experience of James McArthur, Wilfried Zaha and Nathaniel Clyne but the injection of young passionate players all vying to impress their manager has certainly proved Palace are in a promising position to develop beyond the older heads and climb up the table comfortably.
Vieira may be forced to think about the long-term future of his team in the immediate instance, as it appears veteran striker Zaha could be set to make a move elsewhere when his contract expires next summer.
As a result, the Palace boss could use the opportunity to unearth some fresh talent in the youth academy and Ademola Ola-Adebomi could be the perfect player to take the next step into the first team.
Described as a ‘powerful centre-forward’ in his official Crystal Palace bio, Ola-Adebomi is shades of a certain Christian Benteke. The 31-year-old left the Eagles behind last summer and scored 37 goals in 177 outings for the club. He wasn’t always the most prolific of strikers but like the aforementioned teenager, he was a bullish player.
Indeed, speaking of him during his Liverpool days, Brendan Rodgers noted the Belgian’s ability to “play the power game.”
Once a player with “massive potential“, Ola-Adebomi certainly fits into that category now too, but only time will tell whether he can replicate Benteke’s impact at senior level.
He joined the Londoners when he was just eight years old and has since been rising through the ranks in hope of his golden opportunity to appear in the first team.
The 19-year-old talent – who was dubbed “excellent” by The Athletic’s Matt Woosnam – signed his first professional contract with the club back in April this year and it’s no surprise that the powers at Selhurst Park want to keep hold of him.
Ola-Adebomi has scored 19 goals and delivered four assists over his time in the U18s and U21s at the club, with a goal contribution every 93 minutes which is impressive and something that Vieira will struggle to ignore.
The youngster has most recently featured in the U21s EFL Trophy games and has only averaged 29 minutes per game so far, but there will surely be much more opportunity for the player over the season ahead with the team and he will hopefully be given more opportunity to flourish.
With that being said, Vieira must keep a close eye on Ola-Adebomi, especially with Zaha’s future at the club up in the air. The young striker has the potential to not just be the Ivorian’s heir, but also their next Benteke.