He’s yet to be given a chance by Palace boss Roy Hodgson but academy man Nya Kirby is impressing whilst out on loan at Blackpool and after earning his first start for the Tangerines against Charlton, the midfielder’s temporary boss was full of praise.
The game itself finished 0-0 with former Palace favourite Jonny Williams starting in opposition to Nya as part of the Addicks’ midfield but despite the stalemate, gaffer Terry McPhillips couldn’t speak highly enough of the England youth international, all of which bodes well for his future in red and blue.
I’ll admit to being a tad surprised that Kirby hasn’t been given more of a chance by Roy Hodgson up until now but with competition for places so fierce across the Palace midfield, it’s probably fair to say that a short-term spell down in League One isn’t the worst idea in the world. It’s a line which is often trotted out by bosses at the big clubs but there really is no comparison to regular competitive football for youngsters who are keen to learn their craft.
Nya has impressed at England youth level for years now and will be hoping that a good end to the season on Blackpool’s books can catapult him into Hodgson’s thoughts as soon as the summer rolls around. Whilst pre-season minutes are nowhere near as prized as first-team opportunities, the friendlies will at least offer him the chance to impress amongst his potential peers, with a path to the Premier League there for him to grasp if he performs well enough.
For now, Roy and his coaching staff will be keeping a close eye on Nya’s development up at Blackpool and given the feedback from his first start in the club’s instantly recognisable colours, they’re sure to be impressed by how he’s adaptibg to life in the professional game.