If you visited the site on Monday, you may well have read a piece which focused on Crystal Palace academy man Josh Ajayi and now, the youngster’s father has confirmed that his son has agreed a two-year contract extension with the Eagles ahead of the 2018/19 season.
Ajayi made headlines over the weekend when scoring four times in Palace U16’s 5-1 win over Millwall, the latest in a stream of eye-catching performances from the teenager over the course of the last 12 months. Of course, we as supporters must be careful not to place too much expectation on the shoulders of someone so young but if he continues to make strides in the manner he has of late, it’ll be difficult to stop people from talking up his potential.
Still just 15, Josh has already featured a few times for Palace U18s and trained with the U23s, offering an insight into how highly thought of he is within the coaching set up at Copers Cope Road. Obviously, the next two years will play a crucial role in his development, but when you look at the results Paddy McCarthy, Richard Shaw and all of the club’s other academy coaches have amassed this season, it’s fair to assume that the teenager’s development is in safe hands for the foreseeable future.
Eligible to play for both England and Nigeria, it’s no surprise to see Ajayi being likened to former Palace academy star Victor Moses. Having initially moved to the country as a young boy, Victor was spotted by Steve Kember and embedded within the club’s youth system soon after. In the years since, Moses has gone on to win a Premier League title, alongside the Europa League trophy and the African Cup of Nations with Nigeria, acting as an outstanding role model for Josh.
If he goes on to have half as much success as Victor, we’ll have one hell of a player on our hands.