Name: Jude Russell
Club: Crystal Palace
Date of Birth: 12 March 2002
Jude Russell – his career so far
Jude Russell is very much a Crystal Palace talent through and through. The 18-year-old local boy and third-generation Eagles supporter joined the club when he was only eight years old, getting a coveted place in their academy to start his footballing journey.
With so much natural talent and an excellent framework to become one of the next big things at Selhurst Park, Russell advanced through the ranks almost seamlessly and made his debut for the U18s a week before his 15th birthday, which is already quite an impressive feat for a player so young and still developing properly.
But what’s even more impressive is that that achievement was very much warranted as Russell already shined and even captained the U14s, U15s and U16s prior to making that big jump to the U18 squad even though he was still far too young on paper.
In the season 2017/18, he mustered a total of 20 appearances for the young squad, even managing to net a single goal for his troubles along the way. It should also be noted that all were starts as he was a huge part of almost every single squad he played for so far.
The 2018/19 campaign was also huge and 28 starts in that season with two goals to his name do suggest he’s been on a steady path to improve even further. Unfortunately, 2019/20 arrived with a slight injury in late August when playing for the 23s as well.
With all of that taken into account, Russell still made nine starts and one substitute appearance for the U18s with a goal to his name and four starts for the U23s in the ongoing campaign.
Even though he is still waiting for his big senior-team call-up, the 18-year-old defender looks like a player that could still light up Crystal Palace’s future. Now, it’s all about ensuring he is groomed properly.
Not much has been said or written about Russell in recent times and even though there was a lot of hype coming his way from the media in the years gone by, 2019/20 has been a particularly quiet time for the youngster.
Of course, this could very well be due to his injury back in late August which meant that he would not see as much action as he used to do and subsequently, a potential path towards another promotion was put on hold.
So far, no Crystal Palace news is suggesting the youngster might still get his senior call-up soon but there are also no transfer rumours stating his future at the club might be in any kind of danger at all.
He was tipped to become one of the stars for the Eagles and as of right now, that is still very much the case as far as the club is concerned. Russell was also named in the Guardian’s Top 20 young talents at Premier League clubs for the year of 2018.
The best thing about Russell is that he definitely fits the mould of a complete modern defender. Not only is he really good at actually defending and snuffing out danger but he is also comfortable on the ball and can boast with great technical abilities.
The now 18-year-old centre-back can often be seen as the link between the defensive and the midfield line as he is really good on the ball and at connecting different thirds of the pitch rather seamlessly.
Apart from just defending, he offers quite a lot for his team moving forward as his dribbling and close control allow him to be fairly press-resistant and capable of advancing play from the deeper areas.
As a youngster, he even began life in football as a midfielder before moving to centre-back and also right-back in the latter years of his development. Versatile, extremely technical and strong in the challenge, Russell has the making of a brilliant modern defender.
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