Crystal Palace latest news: Eagles have 'high hopes' for not-yet-seen first-team star

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Journalist Tom Barclay reckons that Crystal Palace still have high hopes for Nathan Ferguson despite his frustrating first 15 months at the Selhurst Park club.

The defender signed for the Eagles on a free transfer in the summer of 2020 following his release from West Brom.

However, the 21-year-old is yet to make a single first-team appearance and hasn't actually been involved in any competitive match since making the move from the Hawthorns.

What's the latest news with Ferguson?

Having excelled in his first season in senior football to help West Brom get promoted back to the Premier League in 2019-2020, Ferguson arrived in South London with huge expectations having become a regular with the Baggies at just 19-years-old, making 21 appearances in the league.

However, the young defender has suffered several different injuries and setbacks and is yet to make his mark in a Palace shirt.

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According to The Athletic, Ferguson did begin training with his teammates earlier this month, but sustained another injury, which is expected to keep him out until after Christmas. This time, it was an Achilles tendon problem, the latest in a long line of frustrating blows for the former West Brom man.

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ENTER GIVEAWAY

Despite his wretched luck, Barclay revealed that the club are still hopeful that he can show his worth and even suggested that their failure to sign a full-back this summer was potentially down to Ferguson, who's available to play anywhere across the back four and is comfortable at both right and left-back.

What did Barclay say?

He told GIVEMESPORT: "Obviously he's a young player that they still have high hopes for, so that probably explains why they haven't gone in the market for another right-back."

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Is there a starting place for Ferguson when he does return?

Ferguson's ability to play in several different positions can work both ways. It can increase his chances of getting more regular first-team football, but it also means he could be seen by Patrick Viera as a utility man, which could see him struggle to nail down one position.

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In terms of claiming a starting spot, Tyrick Mitchell seems to have made the left-back spot his own, whilst Ferguson would have a tough job on his hands dislodging the ever-reliable Joel Ward.

But Ward turns 32 later this month and with Vieira looking to bring down the age in his squad, becoming the club's long-term replacement for him is probably the position he should be targeting.

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