Crystal Palace set for 'big boost' over £55k-a-week star at Selhurst Park

Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira

Crystal Palace midfielder James McArthur could provide a ‘big boost’ for the club if he returns from injury soon, according to The Sun journalist Tom Barclay.

The 34-year-old is yet to feature in the current campaign after suffering a recurrence of a groin problem in the Eagles’ final pre-season game with Ligue outfit Montpellier.

What is the latest news involving McArthur?

McArthur missed a chunk of Palace’s preparations for 2022/23 before coming back earlier than expected to feature against Gillingham Town and Queens Park Rangers.

However, the Scotland international picked up a fresh fitness concern on the eve of the new season getting underway in what was a setback for both Palace and the player.

“It’s just a step back. It is an injury,” manager Patrick Vieira said after a 4-2 victory over Montpellier. “Hopefully it’s not going to be as long as we think.”

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McArthur was limited to just 15 Premier League starts last term due to a serious hamstring problem and other issues, but he could be closing in on a return to action.

The current international break means Palace do not have another fixture until the start of October when they take on Chelsea, potentially allowing McArthur an opportunity to regain his fitness.

What has Barclay said about McArthur?

When asked how important McArthur’s possible comeback next month could be, Barclay informed GiveMeSport that Vieira ‘sung his praises’ on several occasions last term.

He said: “Yeah, if that’s how it transpires, I think it’s a big boost. I think he fits in very well with their style of play.

“I’ve done a few of their press conferences this year, but I did a lot of them last year, and Vieira often sung his praises. He does seem to be the kind of player that goes under the radar a little bit. I think the Palace fans fully appreciate what he brings to the game.”

How important is McArthur?

McArthur, who earns £55,000-per-week, racked up four assists in 21 Premier League appearances throughout 2021/22 while also putting up some impressive underlying numbers.

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As per WhoScored, the tough-tackling dynamo averaged 1.6 tackles, 1.4 interceptions, 0.4 blocks and 0.8 key passes, placing him in the top five for each metric amongst his teammates.

New signing Cheick Doucoure has settled into life in south London well so far, and McArthur could form a strong partnership with the 22-year-old over the coming weeks.

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