Max Meyer doesn’t appear to be a favourite under Roy Hodgson, to say the least.
The Germany international had made just six Premier League appearances in total this season before the Boxing Day win over West Ham, with only two of those outings classified as starts.
Meyer has struggled to obtain consistent game time since swapping Schalke for south London in 2018, starting only 15 of the Eagles’ 38 Premier League games under Hodgson last term as well.
However, the 24-year-old was given a rare opportunity from the beginning against the Hammers on Boxing Day, and his performance has to make the former England manager sit up and take notice.
Hodgson seems to like an powerful, industrial midfield, in which each member works hard to keep things running smoothly in the engine room of the side – it is perhaps why colossal figures like Luka Milivojevic and Cheikhou Kouyate start on a weekly basis.
In Meyer’s case, while he doesn’t have the same physical qualities as the aforementioned duo – he stands at 173cm, which is just under 5 foot 7 – his effort and desire was certainly on show against the Hammers.
Palace’s No.7 completed five tackles from a right-midfield role, more than any other player in red and blue managed to make.
Just by watching the game, you could see how hard Meyer was trying in this London derby, constantly tracking back to help Martin Kelly while also looking the most likely to thread an incisive ball through the West Ham backline.
The German made just one key pass, but that was more down to a lack of runners ahead of him than a result of his own shortcomings – Meyer always had his head up and was difficult to dispossess.
He was so difficult to dispossess that the Hammers were forced to foul him twice, and if Hodgson continues to drip-feed Premier League game-time to this source of creativity after watching his Boxing Day performance, Meyer could rightly feel hard done by.
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