Crystal Palace academy starlet Kian Flanagan scored an absolute screamer yesterday afternoon, prompting the man himself to share a video of his goal via his Twitter account.
Whilst the lion’s share of fan attention will understandably be placed upon first-team matters most of the time, Palace fans everywhere can always be relied upon to take a genuine interest in the general performances of the academy players, leading plenty to no doubt express their appreciation at a strike of this quality from Flanagan.
Where in recent seasons we’ve seen a marked fall in the number of younger players being given the opportunity to impress in the Premier League, all signs this term are pointing towards the likes of Sullay Kaikai, Freddie Ladapo and Keshi Anderson being taken more seriously by Alan Pardew and his coaching staff.
Of course, the primary focus for any manager will always be on securing points from week to week, but in the case of Kaikai specifically, we have a player who has continuously proven himself at lower league level when offered a platform on which to shine, prompting plenty of the Selhurst Park faithful to call for him to be given a proper chance to bed in amongst the likes of Townsend, Zaha and Puncheon this season.
In Flanagan’s case, he remains a little further under the radar of the first-team, but should he manage to fire in goals like this on even a semi-regular basis, there is absolutely no reason to suggest that couldn’t force himself into the reckoning for a first-team place in a year or two’s time.
There has been a rather large cloud hovering over the heads of the Crystal Palace fan-base in recent months thanks to a remarkably poor run of form under Alan Pardew but moments like this offer a much needed spark of optimism for those who are looking for a sense of light relief.
Make no mistake, it’s a candidate for goal of the season already.