It is no secret that Crystal Palace need younger players.
The south Londoners have the oldest squad in the Premier League – according to The Athletic’s Dominic Fifield – with only four players under the age of 27 at Selhurst Park in Connor Wickham, Max Meyer, Jairo Riedewald and academy graduate Brandon Pierrick.
Fifield has mentioned that there is an ‘acceptance’ to reduce the average age of the squad, and a recent transfer update serves to support that.
The Sun report that Roy Hodgson’s side will outbid Celtic for the teenager’s services, before loaning him back to Hearts for the remainder of the campaign – these conditions would be sensible for one reason.
Jairo Riedewald’s emergence.
The Dutchman – who admitted to Hodgson that he didn’t think he could play left-back – has shone in the role during Patrick van Aanholt’s absence, with his recent form throwing up question marks as to why the 72-year-old turned a blind eye to him for months.
It is the former Ajax man’s wonderful displays of late that make the decision to sign Hickey, and then loan him back to Hearts, a sensible one, as keeping the youngster – who was described as “ambidextrous” by Hearts’ official site – would only hinder his development as he sits behind Riedewald and Patrick van Aanholt in the pecking order.
“As a player, he is comfortable on the ball and gets about the midfield area really well. He has a decent range of passing and is ambidextrous with his feet.”
It could also be deemed as unfair to add more competition to a position in which Riedewald has only just managed to get a handful of games in, having failed to make a single Premier League appearance.
He has only just broken into the XI, so for the 23-year-old and for Hickey’s sake, a loan move back to Hearts would be a sensible decision from Crystal Palace.
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