Crystal Palace have made a promising start to life under new manager Patrick Vieira, with several exciting and entertaining performances breathing fresh hope into the capital club.
Draws against the likes of West Ham United and Leicester City have been backed up by a memorable win over Tottenham Hotspur, but that victory remains the only time that the Eagles have secured all three points this season.
That disappointing record is in part down to Palace’s underperforming attack. Their total of eight goals from their opening seven Premier League games is worse than 19th-placed Newcastle United’s, highlighting the issues Vieira’s charges have faced in the final third.
Although there have been signs of improvement in recent weeks, the south London outfit have still only found the back of the net from open play twice in their last three fixtures.
However, the solution could be a rather simple one for Vieira and co. Struggling forward Jordan Ayew has started six league games this season but has so far been unable to end his lengthy goal drought dating back to 7 November 2020.
The 30-year-old forward has begun to look bereft of confidence in front of goal of late, hampering Palace’s attacks, and the time for a change has arguably come.
Teenage winger Michael Olise arrived from Championship outfit Reading for just £8m in July and is yet to feature from the off for the Selhurst Park outfit due to an injury.
However, the former France U18’s international made up for lost time last time out, bagging his first goal for his new club with a stunning volley against the Foxes, scoring only eight minutes after coming off the substitutes bench.
And while Ayew is currently low on self-belief, confidence is a quality that Olise has never lacked. Former Royals teammate Sam Baldock outlined the youngster’s assertiveness following an outstanding showing against Nottingham Forest last term.
“Michael is a real talent, he’ll get on the ball in any situation. He’s fearless, if you ask him today, I’ll guarantee that he had no nerves,” the striker revealed.
With an Arsenal side yet to fully gel coming up next for Palace, Vieira must unleash his £13.5m-rated wing wizard against a potentially vulnerable Gunners side.
Olise could have a huge impact at the Emirates Stadium if he’s trusted to make his first start of the campaign, his manager just needs to be brave enough to give the teenager a platform to perform on the biggest of stages.
And, in other news…Palace receive big injury boost ahead of Arsenal, Vieira will be buzzing