It’s not something that is commonly associated with Roy Hodgson, but Crystal Palace boast some seriously exciting young players at the moment, after Steve Parish brought Eberechi Eze to Selhurst Park from Queens Park Rangers in the summer.
Eze is one of several signings in recent years who, alongside Nathan Ferguson and Jairo Riedewald, has brought a breath of fresh air to an ageing squad that has often been accused of looking out of place, out of time.
But one player who has stood out from the rest in recent weeks is Patrick van Aanholt’s protege Tyrick Mitchell, who has impressed Hodgson in recent weeks.
The 21-year-old burst onto the scene at his boyhood club after breaking into the first team towards the closing stages of the last campaign, having made four appearances in the Premier League last season.
He has played six games in the top flight this season so far before he suffered an injury in training ahead of the game against Wolves at the Molineux last month.
But contract talks with club veteran Patrick van Aanholt are reported to have reached an impasse, whilst Hodgson has since confirmed that Mitchell has returned to first team training last week along with his teammates Joel Ward and James Tomkins.
So the Palace boss must put his faith in the academy product before Monday’s trip to Turf Moor to take on Burnley, as he has already established himself as a first-team regular starter in Van Aanholt’s absence.
Following his promotion to the first team, Mitchell has put in a defensive shift in the back line. In six appearances in the Premier League this season, the defender is averaging 4 interceptions and 2.3 clearances per game, via WhoScored.
But it is his attacking contributions that have often gone unnoticed so far this season, as the full-back has bombed up and down the left flank with abandon, overlapping with the likes of Eze, Wilfried Zaha and Jeffrey Schlupp with almost free will at times.
A look at his heatmap reveals a hub of activity, predominantly in his own half, although there are several hotspots in the opposition half as well, which implies that he is finding himself in attacking positions as well.
Burnley’s struggles have been well-documented in recent weeks, as Sean Dyche’s side have failed to win a single game in the Premier League so far this season, with a worrying defensive record which has been compounded by a fundamental lack of pace. And Mitchell is a player who could cause them several problems at the back with his scintillating pace.
Such a promising young player should not be ignored, that’s for sure.