Palace Academy Star In Tug Of War Between England & Nigeria

0 Posted by - August 4, 2017 - News

Joseph Oluwagbemiga Hungbo Isn't a name many of you are likely to be that familiar with but after eight years in Crystal Palace's academy, the teenager is beginning to make waves on the international stage.

This piece details the tug of war taking place between England and Nigeria for Hungbo's services. He's a wanted man.

Whilst the Eagles have always prided themselves on their academy prospects, the last few years have seen the previously steady stream of first-team ready youngsters dry up. Of course, the graduation of Wilfried Zaha still acts as a sign of what our youth ranks are capable of but in the years since the winger first burst onto the scene, we've struggled to bring others into the fold.

Part of the reason for that lies in the level of competition we now face from week to week, with the need for Premier League points often trumping the idealistic wishes of a fan-base desperate to see the next kid roll off the production line. Indeed, the last few seasons have seen the club pursue a change of style, only to adopt our old ways when the threat of relegation looms large.

I certainly don't blame the likes of Tony Pulis and Sam Allardyce for putting their faith in experienced professionals ahead of academy prospects, given the objectives that were laid out in front of them but in Frank de Boer, it feels as though Steve Parish has plumped for a manager who will look to mesh together pragmatism and faith in youth equally, picking up points whilst ushering in the next generation of stars simultaneously.

We've seen the likes of Nathaniel Clyne, Jonathan Williams, Sean Scannell and the aforementioned Zaha all go on to make their mark professionally in recent years and in Hungbo, it certainly feels as though we may have another superstar in waiting. You could be forgiven for drawing parallels between his current predicament and the one facing Zaha with the Ivory Coast; my only hope is that England top brass handle this latest battle for a youngster's loyalty with a greater sense of tact and decorum.

Watch this space.

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1 Comment

  • Jose Fonte baby? Jose Fonte? Oh oh oh August 4, 2017 - 9:45 am Reply

    Good too see that we are producing players that are getting international recognition. Hopefully this will boost our chances of getting a Category 1 academy status. Like to see this guy given a run out in the cups if he is as good as they say.

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