BY ANDREW MCSTEEN
Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson says Scott Banks could feature in his first-team squad soon.
Since signing for the Eagles in January the Scottish midfielder, 19, almost immediately joined Alloa Athletic on loan for the rest of the season.
But he is now a regular fixture in the Eagles U23 squad, in the elite surroundings of the Premier League 2 for the first time this season.
“If he continues doing as well as he has been for the U23s there’s no reason why that shouldn’t happen,” said Hodgson to the South London Press. “I certainly wouldn’t rule it out. He’s a talented player, there’s no question of that.
“But at the moment our squad is looking quite big, so he’s going to have to produce the performances first and then we’ll see where that takes him.
“I can definitely see him training with the first team during the coming months because, ideally, you want to bring players up from the U23s when there’s a gap in your group, so you can give them a chance to show what they can do at first-team level and get that necessary first-team experience.”
Hodgson confirmed that he has knocked back any possibility of another club taking the player on loan at the moment with Rochdale and other clubs reportedly interested in the Scottish international.
However, he did not rule any future loan move away for the player, with the former England manager full or praise for the youngster who celebrated his 19th birthday last week.
“He’s a very nice boy, there’s no doubt about that,” said Hodgson to the South London Press. “He’s very polite, very well brought up, intelligent of course and he’s settled in very well, having come down from Scotland.
“Everything I could say about him would be nothing other than very positive things and I think at the moment I’m enjoying watching his performances and I’m very happy he’s getting credit for those performances.
“We have rejected, I know, several clubs who have asked to take him on loan because we want to keep him with us here longer and give him a chance to try and break into our first team squad before we send him away to get more footballing experience.”
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