Nathan Ferguson eyeing Crystal Palace comeback

The defender joined the Premier League club in the summer on a free transfer after he turned down a new contract with West Brom.

Ferguson had been set to join Palace in January, but an issue with his medical saw the move collapse before the 20-year-old did finally sign for the Eagles in July.

A knee issue has restricted the England youth player to only one appearance this year and boss Roy Hodgson recently admitted the club’s medical staff are being cautious with the right-back after he suffered one setback already.

But Ferguson, speaking at a Palace for Life Foundation event, said: “Short term, I want to get myself out of this injury and back to where I was or even better.

“Hopefully I can then implement myself into the team and help to develop other players while I’m also working hard myself.

“This is my first setback, I’ll come back and this will make me stronger through the rest of my career.”

During his time away from rehabilitation, the ex-Baggies player offered his support to the Palace for Life Foundation this week.

He spoke to a small group of children at Bandon Hill Meadow Field Primary School in Carshalton over a video call as part of the Team Mates programme.

The sessions are put on to encourage pupils to speak openly about how they are feeling and use positive psychology to help them become more resilient and improve their social skills.

“Communication is so important, it’s good to teach it from a young age so that they learn that it’s OK to talk about your feelings,” Ferguson added.

“Even if I can inspire just one kid, that’s good enough for me, hopefully I can encourage them to step out of their comfort zone and go on to do what they want to do when they’re older.”

Palace’s number 36 is one of several unavailable to manager Hodgson, but it failed to prevent the south Londoners beating Leeds 4-1 in the final match before the international break.

Captain Luka Milivojevic missed that fixture due to suspension and while he has two more matches of his ban to serve, the midfielder has now tested positive for coronavirus.

A statement from the Serbian FA read: “After regular testing performed on Monday after the arrival of the national team members of Serbia in Stara Pazova, it was determined that the captain of Crystal Palace, Luka Milivojevic, was positive for the Covid-19 virus.”

The 29-year-old, who was tested again on Tuesday and recorded another positive result, will self isolate in his home country before he is able to return to England.

Premier League: Crystal Palace vs Leeds

The two clubs have made identical starts to the season, with three wins, three defeats and a draw each, leaving them in mid table after seven games, but both suffered disappointing defeats last time out.

Palace were comfortably beaten 2-0 by Wolves at Molineux, and midfielder Luka Milivojevic was sent off for a late challenge on Joao Moutinho, meaning he will serve a three-match ban after an unsuccessful appeal. Roy Hodgson was livid with the referee’s decision, and it now means the Eagles squad is stretched even thinner, with their injury troubles still proving problematic.

Centre-back pair Gary Cahill and James Tomkins are both struggling after calf and heel injuries respectively, meaning Cheikhou Kouyate and Scott Dann are likely to continue at the back.

Tyrick Mitchell and Joel Ward are also missing, while new signing Nathan Ferguson and long-serving goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey miss out too.

There’s positive news in the shape of James McCarthy though, as the Irish midfielder could return after a thigh injury. He could form the McCarthy/McArthur midfield pair, as the Scotland international is expected to deputise for Milivojevic.

Jordan Ayew and Jack Butland are available again after positive coronavirus tests and should be involved.

Leeds have been hit by the virus as well, with record signing Rodrigo ruled out after a positive test. The Spanish international will now isolate under Premier League protocol and miss the trip to the capital.

Kalvin Phillips remains sidelined with a shoulder injury which is expected to keep him out until December, while Gaetano Berardi and Adam Forshaw are also long-term absentees.

New signing Diego Llorente is still to make his debut for the club and will miss out with an injury suffered while on international duty.

Raphinha has been struggling with an ankle injury and a late decision will be made on him, but wholesale changes aren’t expected to the Leeds side that started the 4-1 defeat to Leicester City last weekend.

Top scorer Patrick Bamford will continue up front and hope he can show Gareth Southgate more of what he can do after missing out on the latest England squad, while midfield creators Pablo Hernandez, Jack Harrison and Helder Costa will be tasked with providing the ammunition for the former Chelsea striker.

Crystal Palace take on Leeds United at Selhurst Park on Saturday, November 7th. Kick-off is at 3pm.

No further business expected for Crystal Palace

Roy Hodgson has moved to add young stars Ebere Eze and Nathan Ferguson from QPR and West Brom respectively, as well as striker Michy Batshuayi also arriving from Chelsea on loan this transfer window.

Palace made a bright start to the Premier League season, winning their opening two fixtures, and are currently content with their signings so far.

As such, the Evening Standard report that the Eagles ‘are in no rush to land deadline-day signings.’

The club have exclusively done business with domestic clubs this window so far and will therefore likely be eyeing October 16th as their final day for business with Premier League sides able to do deals with other English clubs until that date.

Brentford’s star winger Said Benrahma has been rumoured to be of interest to Roy Hodson, but it is understood there have been no concrete bids for the Bees man from Palace.