Crystal Palace podcaster Dan Cook has claimed that reported Eagles’ managerial target Steve Cooper could be one of the best managers in England at developing youth talent.
Cooper, the current Swansea manager, has been linked with the current vacancy at Selhurst Park, and has a fantastic track record of working with young players – having won the World Cup with England’s Under-17 squad in 2017, as well as having previously worked with Liverpool’s academy age groups before he made the step into coaching senior football.
Palace had looked like they would be appointing Nuno Espirito Santo as their new manager, however, talks between Palace’s hierarchy and the former Wolves manager broke down earlier this week, meaning that Cooper could be back in the frame for the vacant position.
Speaking on the HLTCO podcast, Cook had this to say on Cooper’s track record with youth and how that could help the football club:
“I’m on one hand, excited about the prospect of Steve Cooper, because I feel as though the crop of under-23 and under-18 players that we’ve got – not even to go onto the under-16s and below that – are very, very strong.
“And if anything, you know the Category One status we’ve been able to achieve in the last two years will kick us on from a youth development perspective significantly, and he probably is one of, if not the best British-based coach to bring through that talent.”
TIF Thoughts on Steve Cooper potentially joining Crystal Palace…
As mentioned, having spent most of his career involved in the younger age groups away from senior men’s football, Cooper has been able to earn himself a reputation of being able to work with youth footballers and turn them into better players.
Palace have produced some fantastic footballers through their academy system over the years, with Wilfried Zaha, Victor Moses, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Gareth Southgate just to name a few.
In the current climate where football clubs have been financially damaged by the effects of the pandemic, Cooper’s record with youth footballers could give him the extra feather in his cap when Crystal Palace come to appointing a new manager.