Palace ahead of the game on English players

Crystal Palace's English forward Jason Puncheon. Pic: David Pinkney

Crystal Palace’s English forward Jason Puncheon. Pic: David Pinkney

Crystal Palace FC could be in line for a place in the Europa League if only goals scored by English players counted, a BBC study has revealed.

State of the Game, an analysis of playing time in the Premier League, found Palace would soar to sixth place, nine places higher than their current standing. The study comes six months after FA chairman, Greg Dyke, called for an increase in the amount of English players playing in the premier league to 45 per cent.

This season’s Crystal Palace squad is made up of 40 per cent English players.

Nationalities in Palace squad. Pic: Jack D'Arcy

Nationalities in Palace squad. Pic: Jack D’Arcy

Striker Frazier Campbell currently leads the list of English scorers in the team with three Premier League goals while Dwight Gayle, Croydon-born Jason Puncheon and academy product Wilfred Zaha have all contributed.

Despite going into administration twice since 2000, Palace continue to spend an estimated £1 million a year running their academy in order to produce first team players. The club has a rich history of producing England internationals, with recent caps including Nathaniel Clyne and Wilfred Zaha. Past graduates of the youth system include Ian Wright, Kenny Samson and the first million-pound goalkeeper Nigel Martyn.

However fans remain divided on the importance of developing home-grown talent, voicing their opinions online. On the Palace Supporters website, Jamesrichards8 said: “I for one am proud of the amount of English players in our squad. I’d rather have relegation than sell out and pick a foreign team.

Others remained more pragmatic. Topcat said: “I’m pretty sure no one cares what the nationality is of a player so long as they play well. I don’t look at Yannick Bolasie and think less of him because he is French by birth, spent almost all of his life in England but plays for the Democratic Republic of Congo.”

State of the Game also revealed that Arsenal, Chelsea and champions Manchester City, three of last season’s top four, used the most non-UK players in the league. This season’s title-favourites Chelsea would be languishing in 19th if they had to rely on English goal scorers.

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