Crystal Palace latest news: 'Tidy' star tipped to replace injured James McArthur

Crystal Palace midfielder James McArthur

Journalist Tom Barclay thinks Will Hughes is the “most obvious” replacement for James McArthur at Crystal Palace.

McArthur has missed Palace’s last few games due to a hamstring injury, leaving manager Patrick Vieira needing to shuffle the pack.

What happened to James McArthur?

McArthur picked up a hamstring injury just before the November international break, ruling him out of the fixtures that followed.

Speaking prior to Palace’s recent defeat against Manchester United (via football.london), assistant manager Osian Roberts confirmed that McArthur has returned to training and is looking much better.

In the 34-year-old’s absence, Palace’s form has really dipped, so his return to full fitness will come as a huge boost. From games against Burnley, Aston Villa, Leeds United and Manchester United, Vieira’s men have been able to pick up just one point.

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In the meantime, Vieira will have to make do with the likes of Hughes, Conor Gallagher and Cheikhou Kouyate.

What has Tom Barclay said about Will Hughes?

For Barclay, Hughes should be the man filling in for McArthur until the Scotsman returns, with The Sun journalist praising the 26-year-old for his tidiness in midfield.

Speaking to GIVEMESPORT, Barclay said: “He’s probably the most obvious McArthur replacement in how tidy he is in midfield or how he’s been in the past, so hopefully he can make the step up now.”

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Does Will Hughes deserve a chance?

With so many fixtures coming up, Hughes probably should be getting some game time, especially if McArthur finds himself needing to be eased back in.

When fit, the Englishman does have something to offer. He is no stranger to this league having racked up close to 80 appearances for Watford in the top flight and is obviously comfortable playing in midfield, making over 180 appearances there in his career. 

He joined Palace from the Hornets during the summer in an initial £6m deal and has not really got going at Selhurst Park yet. Hughes is yet to make a start in the Premier League this season, though that is partly down to injury.

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It has been a completely different story for Hughes’ team-mate Gallagher, though, who has been a revelation since joining on loan from Chelsea.

Vieira has trusted the 21-year-old from the get-go, and he instantly repaid that faith shown in him after grabbing a brace against West Ham back in August. Since then, Gallagher has gone on to score two more goals while providing three assists.

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