Hiram Boateng made his Premier League debut for Crystal Palace yesterday, coming on for Yohan Cabaye with the scores locked at 1-1 against a resurgent Swansea City side.
When he came into the game, Palace had their backs against the wall, desperately fighting to hold onto parity after being drawn level by a close-range Scott Dann goal just after the break. It would have been easy for him to hide, but he took the game by the scruff of the neck straightaway, showing himself to be an extremely confident young player.
He nearly had the fairytale league debut, taking aim from outside the penalty area and firing a shot just a whisker wide of the post in front of the away end shortly after coming on, but overall, his performance warrants a huge amount of credit.
With McArthur, Puncheon, Ledley, Sako and Bolasie all sidelined through injury, Boateng’s potential rise into a first-team option for Alan Pardew presents a welcomed relief. Well built for his age and impressively at ease on the ball, he will hopefully go from strength to strength in the next few weeks.
The interview above will please everyone who watches it, for a number of reasons. We all love to see academy stars given a chance to shine in the first-team, but in Boateng, we have a player who could quickly progress to a firm fixture in the matchday squad, should he perform to a similar standard to the one he managed in Wales yesterday.