Crystal Palace crushed Premier League stragglers West Bromwich Albion in a comfortable win at the Hawthorns last weekend to claim their first points in three games.
The Eagles are now getting ready to face Jose Mourinho’s high-flying Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday afternoon as they seek to build on their new-found momentum.
But ahead of the upcoming clash with Tottenham at the weekend, Roy Hodgson delivered some worrying news as he confirmed that summer signing Nathan Ferguson has suffered another setback in his bid to get match fit for the first time since he arrived at Selhurst Park.
Speaking in his pre-match press conference, the manager said: “It is quite sad news.
“He was and is getting on very well and actually joined in with us this week and has just become a bona fide member of the squad without us having to moderate what he can and can’t do.
“But unfortunately as sometimes happens in these situations, especially as he is young and enthusiastic, it has led to him picking up a slight thigh strain. At the moment I am waiting on the results of that thigh strain from the MRI. It is very unfortunate.”
With the new signing ruled out due to injury, Hodgson will be without Ferguson for at least their next Premier League game against Spurs. Joel Ward has recently recovered from injury but as one of only two right-backs available, Hodgson finds himself short of options as Palace enter a busy schedule in the build-up to Christmas.
Unless he drastically changes his mind, the 73-year-old will have to start Cheikou Kouyate alongside short-term injury cover Nathaniel Clyne, who has been in-and-out of the starting line-up in recent weeks.
According to The Athletic’s Matt Woosnam, Clyne only signed a temporary contract until January as he arrived at the club as a free agent after being released by Liverpool in the summer.
However, with Ferguson once again sidelined for the foreseeable future, this could present the former Liverpool defender with the golden opportunity to salvage his Palace career.
Palace are currently twelfth in the top flight, level on points with Aston Villa, but Newcastle and Leeds United are breathing down their necks. With Spurs at the top of the table, Mourinho’s side will be viewed as clear favourites. But Clyne could keep the free-scoring Harry Kane and Son Heung-min at bay in an attempt to persuade the board to give him a contract extension.
His former boss Jurgen Klopp thought highly of the 29-year-old as he called him a “machine” during his time at Anfield. Valued at £7.2m via Transfermarkt, it would be a shame to see the Eagles to let him go for free when the winter transfer market opens in January.