Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace

Premier League • England

Crystal Palace new boy reveals Vieira lure as he learns from another legend

Patrick Vieira Palace

New Crystal Palace signing Luke Plange feels he is ready to “progress” when he joins the club in the summer after returning to Derby County on loan.

Palace signed Luke Plange late on deadline day from Championship outfit Derby. He has been loaned back to the second-tier club for the remainder of the season.

The teenager only made his debut in December and scored on his first start. His aim is now to help Derby see out the season before advancing his own career.

“I’m very excited to be joining a big Premier League club,” Plange told Palace TV. “I’m ready to crack on.

“Obviously I’ll be with Derby fighting for them in the Championship. But I will be ready to go back to Crystal Palace in the summer and get ready to go.

“When I heard I was very excited about the news. I know Palace are a big club, a big Premier League club. I knew that it was a very good chance for me to take and to progress in my career.”

Explaining his style to those who may not be aware, Plange namechecked two legendary strikers – as well as his current boss at Derby – as his inspirations.

“I like to do it all,” he said. “I like to run in-behind, I like to come to feet, I like to take on players. To shoot from outside the box, poach inside the box, on my left and my right.

“Ronaldo or Thierry Henry [were my idols]. They were just world class. I’ve been watching them for a long time: clips or old games. They were really powerful, skilful and scored loads of goals as well.

“[Wayne Rooney] was a world class striker for many years – for decades. The amount of goals he scored, you really can’t knock him because he was doing it for years and years and years.

“I’m taking tips and he’s helping me grow as a striker, and all the things he’s telling me I’m just trying to implement into my game and improve as a striker as well.”

Luke Plange looks forward to Vieira link-up

Plange has signed a contract at Selhurst Park until 2025. It means the former Arsenal academy player will get the chance to play for Patrick Vieira next season.

The presence of the Gunners legend is another attractive factor for Plange, who already knows a couple of his future teammates too.

“He [Vieira] is such a big name for Arsenal as well, and part of the Invincible team,” Plange said. “That’s a big figure to be playing underneath as well.

“I know a couple [of the squad] like Michael [Olise] and Jes [Rak-Sakyi] as well. I used to play against them a lot. I’m just looking forward to meeting the rest of them at the end of the season.

“There’s a lot of young players playing [for Palace] in the Premier League, such as Michael Olise and [Eberechi] Eze.

“I’m just really looking forward to doing the same thing: trying to get into the team and push as much as possible, doing what I’m doing in the Championship and working as hard as possible to get to that point.”

Elsewhere on deadline day, Palace completed the permanent signing of loanee Jean-Philippe Mateta.

READ MORECrystal Palace confirm deal to sign striker on permanent transfer