Dan Cook has been speaking on the HLTCO podcast about how good Michael Olise has been for Crystal Palace.
Patrick Vieira has enjoyed a rather successful start to life as Palace manager with his younger squad compared to last season, with the Eagles thriving in the Premier League as they are still yet to taste defeat at Selhurst Park and recovered a point against Leicester City on Sunday despite being 2-0 down.
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The youngest player they signed over the summer was Olise, who at 19 years old, made the step up from the Championship with Reading into the top flight – and although he has not started a game in the league, he got his first goal of the season against the Foxes.
Cook heaped praise on Olise’s recent performances for the Eagles.
“Michael Olise has come onto the pitch and scored within a matter of minutes, the strike itself is absolutely fantastic in my opinion, on the volley after a blocked first effort.
“To see the fact that he’s come from the Championship, he is still just a teenager, and he has that effortless confidence, it doesn’t strike me as though he’s a footballer who will never be awestruck. He came into the game against Tottenham, he was pivotal in one of the goals there.
“He came on against Liverpool, sat James Milner down for fun, really, and has come off the bench and really galvanised our entire pattern of play in that second half.
“This isn’t me trying to throw Jordan Ayew under the bus here, but I am absolutely convinced that had that switch not occurred, we wouldn’t have got back into the game.
“It immediately balanced up our attacks; prior to Michael Olise’s introduction, almost all of our attacking play was coming down the left-hand side. We’ve then scored two goals following Olise’s introduction that didn’t have Wilfried Zaha directly involved in the build-up, and that in itself is a real feather in our cap.”
TIF Thoughts on Olise…
Despite yet to start a game, it’s clear to see that Olise is a huge talent and that’s very clear whenever he’s stepped onto the pitch in cameo roles, as he currently sits top of the squad for both shot and goal-creating actions per 90 minutes – and by some considerable distance.
Olise is creating 3.46 goal creating actions per 90 and the closest player to him is Conor Gallagher with 0.69 (FBRef), though that may not be too surprising given his brief chances to impress to date.
Even though Olise is putting up impressive numbers whenever he’s handed a chance by Vieira, it’s a difficult team to get into, as the Eagles have players such as Wilfried Zaha, Jordan Ayew and Odsonne Edouard, with Eberechi Eze still yet to come back from injury, so Olise will have to keep up these high-level performances to earn a starting berth.