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‘At the beginning of a great career’ – Palace boss Glasner excited about future development of young midfielder


Under a constant stream of questions about key performers playing at an extremely high level since he came in as Eagles boss in February, Oliver Glasner is always quick to revert to the importance of the team over any one individual.

However, it is hard for the Austrian to not wax lyrical about midfielder Adam Wharton, who has just 14 Premier League appearances to his name, but who has seamlessly stepped up a level from the Championship to the top-flight almost immediately.

“First of all, I give a big compliment to the scouting department and (Sporting Director) Dougie Freedman to find this player in the Championship,” said Glasner to the South London Press about the 20-year-old.

“I worked with Mario Götze (at Eintracht Frankfurt) and Adam is the same. Sometimes, football looks so easy when you work with those players. You think ‘oh my God, how can he solve this pressure left, right and everywhere?’, but he can.

“I enjoy working with him but I also think he enjoys working with this group of players that challenge him.”

That challenge has seen Wharton become a regular in Glasner’s side, an almost indispensable element, providing a central midfield defensive unit with Will Hughes, and with almost every single pass forward, and effective.

Despite moving up to the English top-flight and recently being promoted to the England U21 side, Glasner has praised the work ethic of Wharton in wanting more.

“For me, when you step up from the second league into the first league – from the Championship into the Premier League is it’s not now ‘Wow, I’m in the Premier League, thank you, I have reached everything and now I enjoy my life as a Premier League player’. No, it’s starting again and this is what his personality and his mentality is – he’s working hard,” said Glasner about Wharton, who has less than 50 professional appearances to his name.

“[As coaching staff] we tell him, or give him, one or two tips and he tries to do it. He has a great quality and he’s fit, which is unusual as he playing almost every single minute of every single game. He always shows great performances with his passing, with his solutions and with his hard working in central midfield together with Will Hughes, it’s very important for us. He’s at the beginning of a great career and we will support him as good as possible.”

If his career continues at the pace it is currently progressing, a full, senior call-up to the England squad by Gareth Southgate would be a logical step this year, if not sooner – and maybe even for the upcoming European Championships this summer – but Glasner is not in the business of telling any other manager what they should do, despite calls in some quarters for Wharton to be selected.

“Gareth Southgate was at Selhurst Park watching our game against Manchester United, but he doesn’t need any advice from me – he will nominate the best players for England,” said Glasner about a possible call-up this summer.

“He (Wharton) is doing really well and I, we, all wish the best for our players. If he will be nominated (to England) it will be a fantastic achievement, but he’s a young guy and he will have many international appearances. It’s Gareth Southgate’s decision.”

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