Patrick Vieira has stated that he is “not surprised” at how quickly Joachim Andersen has settled seamlessly into life at Crystal Palace.
Andersen, who joined from Lyon on a five-year contract for a deal believed to be in the region of £14million, has established himself as a crucial part of Vieira’s Palace rebuild, starting every game following the opening day defeat to Chelsea.
Andersen is also instrumental to the style of play, with the defence building the attack from the back. The Danish centre-back’s natural ball-playing ability has seen him forge a quick understanding alongside Marc Guehi, who joined from Chelsea in the summer, too.
When asked how important Andersen’s experience will be to the team and the style of play that the French World Cup winner is trying to implement, Vieira said: “It’s massively important. I am not surprised by him at all because Joachim played in France, he played in Italy, he was in the Premier League last year, so he has experience of moving around and going to a new club.
“He will be a massive help for Marc (Guehi) to build his confidence. He is doing really well.”
Speaking on the importance of both Guehi and Andersen having the ability to play out from the back, Vieira said: “When you want to have possession, and you have a centre-back who is really comfortable having the ball at his feet, it is quite important.
“We have Martin (Kelly) and James (Tomkins) as well. In that department, I am really happy with the options that I have.”
While Andersen and Guehi have cemented themselves as the first names on Vieira’s teamsheet, Will Hughes, who joined from Watford in a deal initially worth £6 million, has yet to feature from the bench since he joined.
Speaking on whether the Eagles faithful will see Hughes make his debut soon, Vieira said: “He has been training well. He is ready to start or to come on. Physically, it has been challenging for him because he didn’t train with a Premier League team for quite a long time. He needed to catch up, and today, he is ready to get involved.
“At the same time, we have Luka, and physically, he is in a really good place as well. It’s really good for me to have those options to choose (from).”
PICTURE: KEITH GILLARD
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