After an opening day victory over Fulham, things haven’t gone to plan for the Eagles. Two defeats against Liverpool and Watford have followed the opening day success at Craven Cottage.
The Eagles’ have been frustrating in their previous two fixtures. Roy Hodgson has shown a tactical inflexibility, sticking with Benteke in a target-man role, despite the face his finishing leaves much to be desired and has done for over a season. His refusal to make substitutions until after the 70 minute mark, even when the tide is against the South London club, also seems to be costing his side points.
A fresh tactical approach is needed, along with giving his new signings a chance to impress instead of being loyal to underperforming players who need to be dropped. Players like Andre Ayew and Cheikhou Kouyate have yet to be given the Premier League game time to show what they can do.
One thing which could truly breathe some much needed life into the starting eleven would be utilising Palace’s excellent young players. Aaron Wan-Bissaka has already made the step-up to the first team to show what he can do, so Roy should place more faith in his youngsters.
With that in mind, surely the Croydon-born manager needs to give these two Crystal Palace wonderkids a proper chance…
Levi Lumeka is a key part of Crystal Palace’s under-23 side. He scored fifteen goals in 23 appearances for Palace’s under-23 side last season. The player can operate either on the wing, in an attacking midfield role, or as a striker. His versatility in forward positions would be a major positive for Roy Hodgson.
He has already made a first team appearance for the Eagles’, away at Burnley in a Premier League fixture last season. He showed in this game he has good pace, and can be a real threat cutting inside from wide positions.
The 19-year-old winger signed from Belgian side Anderlecht in 2014. With it looking like Jason Puncheon is not the player he was due to his age, surely it is time to show Jason Lokilo some first-team action.
He has the ability to beat a player, get to the byline, and put a cross in. He also likes to cut inside and unleash a fierce shot. His development has been stunted at Crystal Palace by the lack of first team opportunities which have been handed to the young Belgian.
He would add an air of unpredictability to the Eagles’, and would be an unknown quantity to Premier League defences.