Crystal Palace midfielder Jairo Riedewald has made such a strong start to the season that Roy Hodgson must recall him to the starting line-up to take on Tottenham Hotspur at Selhurst Park on Sunday afternoon.
Hodgson has no new injury concerns to speak of, which isn’t exactly a bad thing, but this does mean that he faces somewhat of a selection dilemma in the midfield.
Luka Milivojevic and James McArthur started against West Bromwich Albion last weekend as the Eagles cruised to a comfortable 5-1 win over the Baggies at the Hawthorns.
However, Hodgson must resist the temptation to give the club captain a second chance, as he cannot be trusted for the big occasions, whilst McArthur hardly did himself any favours at all with an uncharacteristically lightweight display.
Milivojevic’s ill-discipline can cause a problem, as he has received 35 yellow cards in 126 appearances in the Premier League. Remarkably, he has been sent off just once in the top flight, although he was absent for the entirety of November after Palace lost their appeal against his red card at Wolves.
Instead, Hodgson should seriously consider starting Riedewald, who isn’t afraid of stepping up to the plate, as he played the full 90′ minutes in the first A23 derby of the season.
The 24-year-old initially struggled to make much of an impression upon his arrival at Selhurst Park, but he started in the 4-1 win at home to Leeds United, which is exactly why he must play in the more meaningful games of the campaign, especially when you consider the fact that they conceded just one goal against a side who have scored 17 goals in the Premier League so far this season.
Riedewald could slot into position alongside Cheikou Kouyate in the midfield, who has started ten out of the last eleven games in the centre-back position.
Hodgson himself has heaped praise on the Dutchman, as he described the defensive-minded midfielder as an “intelligent player” who is a “superb professional” after he was called into action for his first game in the first division since April 2018 last season.
Valued at £4m via Transfermarkt, in nine appearances in the top flight this term, the former Netherlands international has scored one goal this season so far, whilst he is averaging 1.4 tackles per game, via WhoScored.
He could play a key part in stopping the free-scoring Harry Kane, who has bagged eight times and ten assists in the Premier League.
Whilst it might seem a little bit harsh to bench Milivojevic, Riedewald lining up against Jose Mourinho’s side may have long-term benefits for Hodgson going forward.