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Patrick Vieira must give Jean-Philippe Mateta a run in the Crystal Palace team

Crystal Palace striker Jean-Philippe Mateta was handed his first Premier League start since the opening day of the season on Tuesday against Norwich City, an opportunity the Frenchman took with both hands.

The 24-year-old scored the Eagle’s second goal in a first-half romp of the Canaries, with the contest finishing 3-0 in favour of the hosts.

It was the Frenchman’s first goal of what has been a season of limited opportunities under the management of Mateta’s fellow countryman Patrick Vieira and it could prove to be the catalyst for a fruitful run of form over the coming weeks.

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According to SofaScore, he also managed three shots on target (including the goal) and had a 71% passing accuracy, statistics that certainly show promise.

Furthermore, Mateta was subject to praise from teammate Will Hughes who said to the club’s website: “It was brilliant from JP – he deserves it. He’s been working really hard and his performance and goal he really deserved.”

The striker has only managed to muster up four Premier League appearances this campaign, half of which have come since assistant manager Osian Roberts took temporary charge following Vieira’s positive Covid-19 test.

The £4.5m-rated forward has decent competition at Selhurst Park with both Christian Benteke and Odsonne Edouard netting four goals in the top-flight thus far.

However, Jordan Ayew has only managed one goal this term and could prove to be the obvious omission in place of Mateta.

Mateta, still on loan at the South London club from Bundesliga outfit 1. FC Mainz 05 until the summer, made an instant impression on the Palace faithful last season, scoring his first and only goal of the campaign against bitter rivals Brighton.

Moreover, prior to his loan move, the striker had netted seven goals in 15 Bundesliga appearances for Mainz.

Unfortunately for the Frenchman though, he only managed a further four Premier League appearances under previous manager Roy Hodgson.

Even though the 24-year-old has failed to make a significant impression on two Palace managers, he has the second half of the Premier League season to make an impact at Selhurst Park.

Vieira will be pushing for a top-half finish after an impressive start to the season and will need his whole squad available in order to achieve that feat, including the services of Mateta who could offer an alternative going forward.

Article title: Patrick Vieira must give Jean-Philippe Mateta a run in the Crystal Palace team

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