February 22 2012
Alan Hansen famously said "You canít win anything with kids" and Tony Peers wonders if Crystal Palace should cash in on their youngsters.
When thinking about writing my first piece for the site I thought about a subject that is on most football clubs minds; The youth.
With the current financial situation plaguing clubs, most are turning to their upcoming stars to bed in, shine and possibly make some much needed money for further investment.
We are no exception with a big reputation for churning out young talent. However in my opinion we havenít had a player go onto to become an international success.
This brings up the question as to whether young players should remain at their parent clubs, consistently playing in the first team and gaining experience or whether to move to a Ďbiggerí club where they could grow by training with top flight players and fighting for their place.
Looking back, past young stars including Clinton Morrison, Hayden Mullins, Wayne Routledge and the infamous John Bostock have not really set the Premier League alight and arguably could have stayed for that extra season to payback the club that gave them their chance and gain more match experience.
The new owners seem keen to turn to the academy for future stars. But as a club moving forward the question is whether to stick with and grow our talent or to cash in and invest in more proven players. Both have their gambles. Keeping hold of talent has the advantage of helping cement a stable team.
Nathaniel Clyne is a good example as the right back position has picked itself for the past couple of seasons. However this has meant that with his contract up in the summer we could lose out on a large fee when he leaves in the summer.
However cashing in early means that we donít keep any team stability and potentially donít get to see the player at their peak. Although forced into selling Victor Moses, itís going to be gutting to see another team gain the best out of him before we had the chance to see it.
The Bostock saga has hopefully highlighted to our current youth that the grass isnít usually greener on the other side and with that, my thoughts turn to our current crop.
With the media firming turned on Wilfried Zaha, this player looks a natural talent. But with many regular viewers agreeing that he lacks a consistent final ball, is it worth cashing in on a potentially record fee and investing in a potential promotion push or let him develop in our first team and hope he can give us the push we need.
I can see both sides, but personally think we need to keep and build around our talent. Then hopefully if we go up, we can keep these players and develop as a Premier League force, rather than helping to strengthen the competition.
One thing is certain. The future is bright and hopefully Jon Williams is going to be another player that could help us contend for a higher league position.
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