Hodgson says ex-Liverpool man’s prospects depend on Ferguson fitness

Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson is happy to give free-agent Nathaniel Clyne the chance to prove his fitness over the coming weeks.

The full-back is set to join the Eagles squad for training on Monday and will attempt to get his career back on track after injury problems at Liverpool.

Clyne started out at Selhurst Park before he left to sign for Southampton in 2012 and it was on the south coast where the defender earned his England debut under Hodgson.

A move to Liverpool followed but during his time on Merseyside the right-back suffered a serious back injury in 2017 and last summer sustained an anterior cruciate ligament injury.

“Nathaniel Clyne hasn’t trained with us, I haven’t seen him,” Hodgson stated ahead of Palace’s trip to Manchester United in the Premier League on Saturday.

“I believe he was coming to be tested today so he could take part in some training with us over next couple of weeks where he is interested to improve his fitness and show us – and not only us, perhaps other clubs too – that he is fit and ready to go again.

“We are happy to welcome him back into the fold and give him that opportunity.”

Hodgson was quick to point out while the ex-Palace defender could return on a permanent basis, it will depend on the fitness of summer signing Nathan Ferguson, who is still recovering from a knee injury sustained at West Brom last season.

He added: “A lot hinges on Nathan Ferguson, the player we have actually brought in to be a right-back at the club and to compete for a place there.

“A lot will depend on how his injury situation pans out over the next few weeks, but it will be very nice to see where Nathaniel is and if there is an opportunity for us to offer him something or if he is interested in us offering him something, then him joining us.”

Wilfried Zaha helped Palace make a triumphant start to the new campaign with the winner at home to Southampton on Saturday.



This weekend the Ivory Coast international will face his old club and Hodgson insists his star man is excited to return to Man United despite continued speculation over his future.

Zaha excited

Jordan Ayew, Wilfried Zaha, Scott Dann

“Nothing has changed at all since the last 230 times I have spoken about this subject,” the 73-year-old said. “Wilf is fit, playing extremely well and looking forward to the game on Saturday.”

A Palace player who is expected to leave before the transfer window closes on October 5 is forward Alexander Sorloth.

The Norway international is currently on loan at Trabzonspor from Selhurst Park, but is set to end his two-year stay in Turkey early to sign for Bundesliga outfit RB Leipzig despite late interest from Tottenham.

“It is a complicated transfer situation,” Hodgson admitted. “I know of course about the bid and RB Leipzig are very keen on signing him.

“How far the transfer is along the line and what it means for the club, you would have to ask (chairman) Steve Parish and (sporting director) Doug Freedman for information.”

The ex-England boss was equally tight-lipped about Brentford playmaker Said Benrahma – a player linked with several Premier League clubs during the past 12 months – with a forward more of a priority for the Eagles.

“At the moment that is not something we have discussed at great length,” Hodgson revealed.

“We will see what happens, he is a player whose name has been mentioned and a player we do know but there has to be a lot happening before a concrete move could be possible.”