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Crystal Palace hopes to have their hands on Chelsea Gold’s youth product



It’s a well-known story: young players who had to leave their club because they weren’t physically strong enough to later make it to the top via various detours. Rak-Sakyi hopes to go the same way. The first signs are encouraging for the Palace winger awaiting his big break in the main squad the Eagles. He is one of the stars of English youth football. In the last two seasons he played in the age groups U18 to U23 and scored 20 goals and 15 assists in 39 appearances.

This season; Rak-Sakyi has been nominated twice for Player of the Month in Premier League 2 thanks to his 10 goals and five assists in 13 league games. The teenager is eager to prove to those who doubted him earlier in his career that they were wrong. Rak-Sakyi had to leave Chelsea in the summer of 2019. He was gradually losing perspective on the season in a game that included brilliant Bayern Munich growth Jamal Musiala and Juventus striker Samuel Iling. Chelsea were intrigued by Rak-Sakyi’s qualities but when the players’ future had to be decided this summer they were told that there was no future. the blues in front of him. Chelsea were concerned about his lack of height and strength.

Determined not to give up his dream; Rak-Sakyi stood trial at Arsenal and Brighton & Hove Albion before Palace saw him up-close at work. What the youth coaches saw; she liked and so the youngster was quickly offered a two-year contract. However; Rak-Sakyi’s first eighteen months in south London proved difficult as he again struggled physically. Palace considered not offering him a professional contract until he emerged as a goalscorer earlier this year. In ten games for the U18 he scored eight goals and provided nine assists. In April the attacker signed his first professional contract and a month later he was in the first-team squad as a reward for the last two games of the Premier League season.

Thanks to a spurt in growth; Rak-Sakyi is now 6 feet tall and has also worked hard with his fitness and strength coaches to make sure he can’t be blamed again for falling short on the next steps in his career set. “He’s calm and humble. He looks shy; but deep down he’s self-confident;” says his strength trainer Osei aim. “Rak-Sakyi is extremely passionate and serious about his craft. He had just left Chelsea when I met him. We had to work on his strength and balance at the time.”

“He’s not easy to get off the ball now;” continued Osei. “Nowadays he just puts his opponents aside. He’s got even faster and more agile; which is important for a winger. It helps that his brother Samuel plays at Chelsea U18. We train them together so they can challenge each other. Now; because Jesurun -is preparing for the first team at Crystal Palace.– Rak-Sakyi made his Premier League debut this season when he was substituted on for Chelsea and received post-game congratulations from his former employer and his own current manager Patrick Vieira. “He is a young talent who was involved in the preparation for us. I’m very happy with what he showed on the pitch; “said Vieira of Rak-Sakyi.” He’s a really great boy; a good dribbler and can score goals too. We have to work with him to help him further. “

Part of developing Rak-Sakyi is deciding if the club would still do the right thing; continuing to put him on record at Palace U23. The game at Stamford Bridge is his only appearance in the first team so far. Rak-Sakyi faces stiff competition as wingers Wifried Zaha; Ebereche Eze; Michael Olise; Jordan Ayew and Odsonne Edouard are all higher in the pecking order in coach Vieira’s preferred 4-3-3 system.

However; there is interest from master clubs in the talent; and large clubs from Germany; the Netherlands; Portugal and Belgium have also asked whether a loan contract is possible during the winter transfer window. In order not to lose him permanently; Palace plans to eventually move him to the first team permanently; as has been the case in the past with young players like Zaha; Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Tyrick Mitchell. If the right club is found; Rak-Sakyi could be given the opportunity to further develop through a loan period. He is living proof that judging young footballers can be premature and Palace now appears to be benefiting from it.

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