A fresh report has revealed that Crystal Palace have seemingly stopped giving opportunities to younger players at Selhurst Park.
According to a study conducted by CIES Football Observatory, the Eagles are amongst just three sides in the top-flight to have not fielded a player under the age of 21 in the Premier League this season, alongside Fulham and Tottenham Hotspur.
The news should certainly be concerning for Palace as they aim to rebuild their squad ahead of the 2021/22 season.
As it stands, the Eagles have on average the oldest squad in the entire top-flight.
Within their squad, there are currently a huge 15 players over the age of 30, whilst only the likes of Jean-Phillipe Mateta, Eberechi Eze, Nathan Ferguson and Tyrick Mitchell are under the age of 24.
Whilst it is certainly not a bad thing to have experienced campaigners at Selhurst Park, that huge over-reliance on aged professionals could be hugely damaging once injuries start to take hold of players later in their careers.
That is certainly a worrying consequence of Palace’s reluctance to give opportunities to young players in the present but it is in the future that it could have catastrophic reverberations for the Eagles.
With a sheer lack of young players to assume responsibility from those aforementioned aged professionals, it could leave the squad at Selhurst Park looking threadbare going into the next few seasons.
Whilst a few promising youngsters could make the step up from the academy, as supporters have seen in the past with Mitchell and current Manchester United defender Aaron Wan-Bissaka, there is surely not going to be a big enough crop to fill a full Premier League squad.
This would likely lead the club into the transfer market, potentially forking out considerable and avoidable fees to replace aged stars when they could have instead just blooded youngsters from the off.
Steve Parish then surely has to be furious as to how the club’s starlets have been so mismanaged by Roy Hodgson.