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Jesse Derry: The Crystal Palace Wonderkid To Keep An Eye On

Jesse Derry stood out for Crystal Palace’s U18’s against Manchester United in the Premier League Cup semi-final despite his side being defeated 5-0. The young English winger showed his class throughout the game, with some really nice touches and dribbles despite his team not having much of the ball during the 90 minutes.

Derry has been at Palace formally since 2015, but he joined the club much sooner, at five years old, at pre-academy level. The 16-year-old, who only turned 16 last summer, is currently playing two years up for the U18 side at his club and putting up some brilliant numbers for club and country. He made his first appearance for the U18s in a 1-1 draw against West Brom and scored on his full debut after earning a scholarship in a 5-0 win against Southampton.

The winger had a connection to Palace before he donned the jersey at academy level, as he is the son of former player Shaun Derry. Derry played over 200 games for the London side during his time at the club, and he was also an assistant coach for a period of time. His son, who has admittedly a slightly different profile from his father, will be hoping to emulate that performance if he can break through to the first team in the coming seasons.

What Type Of Player Is Jesse Derry?

Jesse Derry is a goalscoring winger. He can play on either wing to the same affect, although he predominantly likes to start on the left-hand side in games. He has a Jack Grealish-type swagger about his play and deploys similar ball-striking to the Manchester City treble winner too. A problem with a lot of wingers in the modern game is there neglect of going down to the outside of a defender when they are locked in a one-on-one battle with them. A huge compliment to the 16-year-old is his ability to go down the outside at such a young age. Such qualities as this were shown against QPR last year, when he sat a defender down, dribbled past him, and smashed the ball into the roof of the net.

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Goals and assists are not the only way to judge a player, but it does help when you can do arguably the two most important jobs in world football at such a young age. So far this season, Derry has nine goals and four assists in just 15 games for the U18s in the U18 Premier League. His teammate Zach Marsh leads the way with 16 goals, with the connection between the two already getting rave reviews in the academy sphere. His last goal came in a disappointing 2-1 defeat for Palace against Chelsea in the FA Youth Cup.

Derry has performed admirably for his country so far at U17 level too. The Palace winger scored twice against Kosovo in a 5-0 win in November: once against the Faroe Islands and once against Croatia, meaning he has scored in every game he’s played for England so far.

We at AttackingFootball spoke to someone close to the club, and they described Jesse as follows:.

“He is naturally two-footed and is confident on the ball to take on his man as I’m sure you saw in the game against Manchester United.”

“He scored August’s Goal of the Month at the beginning of this season with a brilliant strike against Reading”.

As for his stats, they are very impressive indeed. He has 14 goals and six assists in 21 appearances across all competitions so far this season – his first season as a scholar”.

Academy Path To The First-Team:

Palace are a club that gives chances to young players, which means Derry is at a great club in regards to his development. The likes of Wilfried Zaha are people the academy players can look up to and aim towards emulating, especially the 16-year-old winger, considering the Ivorian plays in the same position as him. More recently, the likes of Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Tyrick Mitchell, and Jesurun Rak-Sakyi have broken through the academy into the first-team set-up and made an impact.

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The side from Selhurst Park are not afraid to give youth a chance. Michael Olise, Eberechi Eze, and Adam Wharton are examples of that. While they may not have come from the Palace youth setup, they were still thrown into the first-team and trusted with pushing the team forward despite their age. It’s an important mantra to have, and Derry will be hoping to be part of this next generation.

To lead that next generation, a manager who trusts in youth is important. Oliver Glasner could be just that. Reports before he took the job highlighted his interest in young players as one of the main reasons he was given the job in the first place, which showcases the vision the club has for the future.

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