The breakthrough of Tyrick Mitchell into the Crystal Palace team has gone somewhat under the radar this season, however, his stellar performances should not be undervalued.
Only given his debut in July by Eagle’s boss Roy Hodgson after the resumption of the Premier League season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Mitchell went on to make four appearances before the end of the campaign.
He clearly impressed Hodgson enough in those matches to suggest to him that he is more than capable of playing at the highest level and he has again been given more opportunities to play this season.
The 21-year-old has only missed one game, with only injury preventing him from featuring in Friday’s 2-0 defeat at Wolves.
However, with the return to fitness of regular left-back, Patrick Van Aanholt, it will be of interest to Palace fans to see whether Mitchell will keep his place in the team.
After Friday’s loss to Wolves, many Palace fans took to Twitter to voice their opinion on Mitchell’s importance to the team, and the support for the young defender was overwhelmingly positive.
One fan tweeted: ‘’Both goals we conceded were crosses from the opposition right, an issue when Van Aanholt never bothers to stop crosses, bring back Mitchell. #cpfc’’
While another fan said: ‘’Mitchell is streets ahead of Van Aanholt defensively and that is number one for a full back. No matter how close Van Aanholt is to the winger, he never stops the cross, it’s appalling. #cpfc’’
In such a short period of time, Mitchell has already seemingly justified to a lot of Palace fans that he is a valuable asset to their squad and needs to be starting every week if fit. This is also further demonstrated by his outstanding statistics.
With an average of 4.3 tackles per 90 minutes in the league so far this season, Mitchell leads all other Premier League defenders, proving his defensive qualities. He also has the 5th most completed tackles of any player in the league. This is a monumental achievement when you consider how inexperienced he is.
Hodgson is a huge admirer of Mitchell, and has backed him to follow in the footsteps of former academy graduate, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, now of Manchester United.
The former England and Liverpool manager said in September: ‘’Tyrick got his chance last season when Patrick dislocated his shoulder and he has taken that chance well and really continued it since the start of the new season.’’
“Aaron looked very much like Tyrick when he came in and took the game by storm, and he made the position his own very quickly.’’
Palace fans will be hoping that they will be able to keep their hands on Mitchell as long as possible, but if he continues to improve at his current rate, it may not be too long until he is snapped up by one of the Premier League’s elite.