Jairo Riedewald has signed a new three-year contract with Crystal Palace which will keep him at Selhurst Park until 2024.
While it’s a welcome boost for Roy Hodgson, the same can’t be said for James McCarthy, who faces an uncertain future in south London.
Riedewald scored a worldie of a goal after his 20-yard screamer took a deflection off Ciaran Clark to ensure the Eagles recorded back-to-back-wins in the Premier League for the first time since September as they overcame a spirited Newcastle United on their own home turf at St James’ Park.
He then marked the special occasion by putting pen to paper to a new deal to commit his future to the club.
McCarthy, on the other hand, has struggled for game time under Hodgson this season, with Luka Milivojevic and James McArthur often preferred in his place, having made ten appearances across all competitions, earning a rather disappointing WhoScored match rating of 6.36 overall for his efforts.
By comparison, the 24-year-old has been in superb form for Hodgson’s side since the start of the season, averaging a solid 6.44 for the Eagles in all competitions.
In fact, it’s fair to say that Hodgson’s midfield is pretty well-stocked at present. He’s got Milivojevic, McArthur, McCarthy and Riedewald at his disposal, with the first two making at least 37 appearances between them this season thus far.
And the Eagles also have Cheikhou Kouyate on their books, albeit the 31-year-old has shifted to more of a defensive role as of late.
With Riedewald now penning a new deal, you do worry that McCarthy could soon be deemed surplus to requirements by the south London club.
Hodgson previously praised McCarthy for his role in Palace’s 2-2 draw with Manchester City last season, saying: “He’s been excellent and he’s getting better and better. We knew it would take a little time. He was training with Everton, so when he came to us he was technically fit and there was nothing wrong with him but of course he was not that close to the first-team for periods of time, not knocking on the door if you like.
“I knew the more he did with us, the chances he would get, he would get stronger and stronger. The action he performed for our equalising goal was quite incredible. That amount of running at that point in the game and to produce that pass was a class act. My faith in him and his faith in himself and determination to get back to that level of football has been rewarded. When you get these serious injuries which take you out of football for a long period of time it’s not easy.”
Unfortunately for McCarthy, since those promising comments, he has still been forced to settle for a spot on the bench more often than not so far this season and with Riedewald seemingly here to stay, the Irishman may have to get used to a place on saidthe aforementioned bench.
If he can’t re-establish himself in the first team between now and the end of the season, then it wouldn’t be a a surprise at all to see him leave Selhurst Park in the summer.
AND in other news, Crystal Palace will rue not signing Bayer Leverkusen winger Demarai Gray…