Crystal Palace youngster Nya Kirby has rounded off an extremely successful week by scoring his second goal in as many games for England U18s out in China; with some of his former coaches at Tottenham Hotspur likely to be left wondering if they’ve allowed a top-class talent to slip through their fingers.
Still just 18, Nya has been making waves ever since leaving Spurs for SE25 and will now be holding out hope making the step up to Roy Hodgson’s first-team at some stage of the 2018/19 campaign. Having scored a penalty in England’s 2-2 draw with Uruguay last Wednesday, the central midfielder managed to bag the winner against Hungary on Sunday too.
Indeed, international success isn’t new to Nya despite his tender age. Having played a key role in England U17 side that won the World Cup in October, he’s proving to be quite the headline maker, leading Palace fans to wonder when he’ll be given the chance to impress in the Premier League. Of course, the centre of midfield is a notoriously competitive part of any side but until now, Kirby has taken each and every challenge presented to him in his stride.
Having been a part of the Tottenham academy set-up for many years, he eventually made the switch to Palace in early 2017 and has since been involved in the club’s pre-season tour of Asia alongside earning a place on the bench against his former employers for the Premier League fixture at Selhurst Park.
Whilst Nya is yet to actually take part in a top flight clash, the gaffer probably isn’t far away from feeling as though he can throw him in when needed, with performances like those he’s put in over the last week or so only likely to further impress the former England boss. Should his form continue in pre-season, we could well see Kirby being a regular face on the Palace bench from August onwards, with opportunities coming his way as and when it is deemed appropriate.
For all his potential, it’s important to remember that players of Nya’s age must be used sparingly at the beginning of their professional career but for now, all the signs point towards the 18-year-old having an extremely bright future in red and blue.