Erdal Rakip may not have been involved in the match-day squad for Crystal Palace’s trip to West Ham on Tuesday night but make no mistake, the former Malmö man is one hell of a talent, as the video attached below proves.
Whilst the tussle between ourselves and Benfica over his signature has confused plenty of people, the long and short of it appears to be that we have him on loan until the end of the 2017/18 season, at which point, we’ll have an option to buy him from the Portuguese giants for a pre-agreed fee.
Of course, it would be pointless for me to suggest that anyone is good enough to play for us off the back of a YouTube compilation but I think even the most sceptical of those amongst our fan-base will have to admit that he does look to be an extremely bright young talent.
Earmarked as a creative midfield dynamo, the little touches Rakip proves capable of pulling off around the 18-yard-box point towards a player who has more than enough technical ability to flourish in our division with the right level of physical conditioning to go alongside it. This may be exactly what Roy Hodgson was alluding to when telling the press that neither Erdal or fellow new signing Jarek Jach would be involved for our midweek trip to The London Stadium, as he and the coaching staff are currently working to bring them up to speed from a stamina perspective.
Is there an outside chance that one or both of them will be put on the bench for Sunday’s clash with Newcastle United? I don’t see why not. At home, against a side who are also battling to avoid the drop, the Swede’s potential late introduction to the game may provide the creative spark necessary to drive us on to a victory against Benitez’s men.
Players in Rakip’s mould are always likely to enthuse fans when they arrive at a football club. His game, by definition, is one that is likely to draw spontaneous applause from the stands accompanied by ooos and ahhhs but I will readily admit that I completely trust Roy Hodgson’s judgment in relation to his development. Obviously I would love to see him involved in the side as quickly as possible but if the boss doesn’t feel he’s quite ready, I’m not going to question it in the slightest.
As and when he does make his first-team bow, I’ll be watching on with huge interest, as I’m sure you will too after casting your eyes over the video attached above.