Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace: Dan Cook backs players to step up in midfield

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Dan Cook has been speaking about the potential midfield problem Patrick Vieira is set to face on the HLTCO podcast.

It has been a dream start to life in the Premier League for both Vieira and Crystal Palace fans, having seen their side lose just twice in 11 games and a load of their new signings hit the ground running, with Marc Guehi and Joachim Andersen being regulars since arriving in the summer, as well as Conor Gallagher, who recently received his first England call-up.

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Someone who has been a loyal servant at Selhurst Park is 34-year-old James McArthur, who is thought to have sustained a serious hamstring injury during the latest international break, according to rumours that emerged online.

The centre of midfield is not necessarily the strongest position within the Palace squad in terms of depth, with Will Hughes, Cheikhou Kouyate and Jeffrey Schlupp the likely replacements if required, although the former is yet to be handed a single minute this season despite being signed for £6.3 million in the summer.

Cook believes that Hughes will be excited by the possibility of him getting some form of game time if McArthur is indeed injured for the long term.

“I’m sure Will Hughes is probably rubbing his hands together, but similarly, Jeff Schlupp has been someone who’s always been in and around that first-team picture under Patrick Vieira.

“I’m sure he will get more minutes as a consequence of Jimmy potentially – as I say, it’s all rumour at this point – being out until February.”

TIF Thoughts on midfield backups…

Someone such as Schlupp is clearly a trusted member of the Palace squad given how long he has been at the club and that he can play in a number of different positions, including centre-midfield – having done so in five games this season across all competitions.

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Selhurst Park, Roy Hodgson, Crystal Palace

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Schlupp may be favoured by Vieira given he’s actually afforded him some game time this season, whereas Hughes is yet to get off the bench for a single minute and that may prove to be a waste of money if the former Watford man is not fancied at Selhurst Park, especially considering he’s now under contract until 2024.

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