‘Has been really good so far’ – Vieira hails 17yo Nigerian training with Crystal Palace first team :: All Nigeria Soccer
Manager Patrick Vieira has admitted that he has enjoyed witnessing the promotion of Valencia-born Nigerian midfielder David Ozoh to Crystal Palace’s first team training.
Allnigeriasoccer.com exclusively reported on Friday that Crystal Palace have no plans to loan out the exciting youngster before the close of the January transfer window, as it stands.
Ozoh has been picked in two matchday squads by Vieira this season, against Bournemouth in the Premier League and at Newcastle United in the Carabao Cup but was an unused substitute in both games.
The 17-year-old has been identified as a potential first team player, with Vieira naming him on the roster for the club’s pre-season tour to Australia and Singapore, before handing him his first senior call up for a competitive game.
The former Arsenal captain highlighted the qualities of Ozoh and noted that the defensive midfielder has been playing up his age.
Speaking to Palace’s official website, Vieira stated : “He has really grown since he’s been with us. He’s been training with us [the first-team] really often, and adjusting himself to the tempo of the game, but he’s got the strength, the power and the technical quality to train with us every day.
“There is still a long way [to go for him]. He is just 17, and he was playing last year in the Under-18s, so he was playing up in the Under-21s. Now, he’s training with the first-team.”
Vieira explained how Ozoh has adapted to training with the first team players after initially finding things difficult.
“He found it really difficult in the first couple of weeks but now he’s starting to get used to it. We have to give him time to grow and get used to being around the first-team players before asking him [for] too much.
“You have some young players who have a lot of attributes, but when they are around first-team players, they don’t have the courage or personality to play with this kind of freedom, so you’re looking at all those kinds of aspects.
“David’s been really good so far.”
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