Crystal Palace manager Hodgson reveals why he left midfielder out of 25-man squad

BY ANDREW MCSTEEN

Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson has revealed that midfielder Luke Dreher will be out of action until at least the new year.

Premier League teams have had to submit their final 25-man squad for the block of games up until the January transfer window.

Academy graduate Dreher missed out and has not even been allocated a shirt number.

Dreher joined fellow first-teamers Wayne Hennessey and Connor Wickham by not being named as all three face rehabilitation from long-term injuries.

“All three are missing for one very simple reason; they aren’t going to be capable of playing any matches until January,” said Hodgson to the South London Press.

“Luke is in the same situation as the other two; the only reason he’s not in the 25-man squad is because our medical department made it clear to us that there’s as good as no chance that any of those three players will be ready to take part in any game before the end of December.

“This takes us into January when we are able to put forward another squad of players, so why have them in the list and leave a guy off like Sam Woods who now is in the squad?

“Why leave him off – this is a guy who could possibly play – for three [players] who have got no chance of playing?”

Dreher was named on the first team bench for the first time against Manchester United in April 2016 and the following month won the club’s U18 Player of the Year award, but injuries have blighted his time in SE25.

He has just a solitary full first-team appearance to his name – in the 5-3 league win over Bournemouth at the end of the 2018-19 season.

Hodgson is making sure he is keeping an eye on the 21-year-old’s rehabilitation sessions where he is joined by summer signing Nathan Ferguson as well as the recent addition of Hennessey and Wickham.

“Luke is making progress; he’s working very hard,” added Hodgson. “His rehabilitation sessions alongside Nathan Ferguson and Connor and Wayne now are going to plan but we have to be realistic and accept the medical verdict that unfortunately we can’t count on them until the new year.”


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