Roy Hodgson has backed left-back Tyrick Mitchell to follow in the footsteps of fellow Crystal Palace academy graduate Aaron Wan-Bissaka and make a name for himself in the Premier League.
The 21-year-old Mitchell has seized the chance that was granted him by an injury to Patrick Van Aanholt in July, and is set to feature again for the high-flying Eagles in Saturday’s clash with Everton.
While Hodgson is keen to dampen expectations over Mitchell he could not resist the obvious comparisons with fellow full-back Wan-Bissaka, who swept through the ranks to land a £45 million move to Manchester United last year.
Hodgson said: “Tyrick got his chance last season when Patrick dislocated his shoulder and he has taken that chance well and really continued it since the start of the new season.
“I hope he will continue to improve and I hope people won’t start to put exceptional pressure on him because he’s still a very young man and he’s still in the absolute nursery in terms of his career.
“Aaron looked very much like Tyrick when he came in and took the game by storm, and he made the position his own very quickly.
“I wouldn’t disagree that in terms of being thrown in with no-one knowing much about him, I think there’s a direct parallel between the two players.”
Palace have made a superb start to the new campaign with wins over Southampton and Manchester United and are seeing their injury problems begin to ease with the likely return of Christian Benteke on Saturday.
However, Hodgson is keen to play down the raised expectations and believe Carlo Ancelotti’s Toffees will provide another stiff test as both sides seek to extend their good runs.
“It’s only two games – it’s nice to have those two games but we’ve got another very challenging task against Everton who have started brilliantly,” said Hodgson.
“I thought they were a bit unlucky last year not to finish higher than they did, and no doubt the three players they have brought in will make a considerable difference.”
Hodgson is also looking forward to renewing acquaintances with Ancelotti, whom he regards as a friend going back to their days in Serie A.
Hodgson added: “He is a friend from my Italian days and I’m looking forward to seeing him, albeit not so much looking forward to the challenge his team is going to present on Saturday.”
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