Just over a year ago, Crystal Palace defender Pape Souare was involved in a horrific car accident, with the left-back fearing that he may have lost the use of his legs completely. Miraculously, he’s now returned to full fitness.
With new Palace boss Roy Hodgson all set to take charge of his first game at home to Southampton this weekend, the Senegal international is ready and raring to go, having defied the odds in a way that few footballers have ever done before.
At the time of the accident, Souare was the Eagles only out-and-out left-sided defender, with his prolonged absence proving to be a gigantic problem for Alan Pardew and his coaching staff. Shortly afterwards, the manager was sacked and replaced with ex-England boss Sam Allardyce, who quickly addressed the issue in January by signing both Patrick van Aanholt from Sunderland and Jeffrey Schlupp from Leicester City.
With the position now healthily stocked, Pape’s long-term role within the squad looks to be far less certain than when he was first sidelined but after completing such an arduous comeback, he deserves at least a few weeks without having to worry too much about displacing one of the aforementioned pairing from the starting XI.
Given Roy Hodgson’s unfamiliarity with the squad and the desperation to secure a positive result, I would imagine it’s highly unlikely that we’ll see Pape given a starting role; that being said, a place on the bench could well be within reach, especially when you consider the continued absence of Wilfried Zaha on the flank. Should he be given a few minutes of game-time by the new gaffer, I’m sure the reaction from the stands will be a hugely emotional one.
I’m looking forward to watching the full BBC interview with Pape, although given our kick-off time tomorrow, you may have to set the show to record.
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