Crystal Palace are gaining a reputation for finding and developing excellent young talents and Reece Hannam could be the next big thing on the Eagles’ production line.
Hannam was signed in 2020 after he was released by West Ham, having spent 11 years with the Hammers, and has caught the eye in his two years at Selhurst Park, earning a place in a matchday squad against Fulham under Roy Hodgson.
The former manager was full of praise for Hannam’s efforts in the academy that day and said he more than deserved his place on the bench, while also confirming that he was training with the first team squad.
He said: “We’ve got a really exciting defender in Reece Hannam and we’ve moved him to come and train with us.
“He’s developing well and he’s earned his spot.”
Hannam would go on to win the U23s player of the season award after the 2020/21 campaign, so he is clearly one to watch for Palace fans.
This season has seen Hannam gain his first taste of senior football on loan with Bromley in the National League, and he already looks to be a cut above that level, contributing two goals and one assist from left-back in his first nine appearances.
The 22-year-old left-back will be aiming to follow in the footsteps of Tyrick Mitchell, who has established himself in the first team having progressed from the academy, with his excellent performances in the Premier League earning him a call-up to Gareth Southgate’s England squad.
Aged 23, he is also a later bloomer with Mitchell only making 72 senior appearances in his career to date. However, amid interest from the Premier League’s elite during the summer, reports suggested that Vieira’s side would likely demand around £50m for his services, which is unsurprising after the £50m sale of Aaron Wan-Bissaka to Manchester United.
Should Mitchell leave Selhurst Park anytime soon, then Vieira could have a ready-made replacement in Hannam, and if given regular first-team opportunities, the youngster could easily establish himself as the next £50m-rated talent in Palace’s squad.