Crystal Palace news: Patrick Vieira has been raving about Selhurst Park's 'unsung hero'

Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira giving instructions to his players

Patrick Vieira is a big admirer of Crystal Palace midfielder James McArthur already, according to The Sun's Tom Barclay.

The Frenchman only took charge of Palace back in July, but has liked what he's seen from the 32-cap international so far this term.

What's the latest news on McArthur?

The 34-year-old missed the Eagles' final 18 league matches last season due to injury, and it seemed that his time at the club might be winding down, having been in south London since 2014.

He has made a remarkable comeback after a lengthy lay-off, though, starting all of his side's league matches to date in 2021/22.

Playing at the heart of the team's midfield, he has become a reliable figure for the team, and is currently Palace's third-highest rated player according to WhoScored, receiving an average mark of 6.81 this season.

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What has Barclay said about McArthur?

Barclay has revealed that McArthur has become a key player both on and off the pitch under Vieira at Selhurst Park.

Speaking about the Scot, he told GIVEMESPORT: “When he was asked about him, bear in mind we all know what Patrick Vieira was as a player, he was raving about James McArthur.

“A real unsung hero, really, really likes what he brings. He’s not the captain, he’s a very influential player in the dressing room, helping other players adapt, particularly with all these moves and the younger players in the squad.”

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Can McArthur keep his place in the team?

Vieira has a number of midfielders to choose from, with Luka Milivojevic and Cheikhou Kouyate bringing experience to the squad, while Conor Gallagher and Eberechi Eze add energy and class slightly higher up the pitch.

Gallagher has been arguably Palace's standout player this season, so his spot in the side appears to be secure. However, Eze could return from injury soon, and this may see Gallagher drop deeper into midfield, which could put McArthur, Milivojevic and Kouyate under pressure for their places.

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Based on current form, though, it is hard to see Vieira dropping McArthur any time soon. He has hardly put a foot wrong this season, and could bring a good balance to the team if he plays as a holding midfielder behind the likes of Gallagher and Eze.

Of course, McArthur is now into his mid-thirties, meaning that he will need to be managed carefully. He might not be able to start every game, but while he is fit and available at the moment, he simply has to play. 

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