Crystal PalaceSport

Exclusive: Crystal Palace tracking Irish striker prospect

Crystal Palace are keeping tabs on St Patrick’s Athletic’s young striker Mason Melia.

The 16-year-old recently signed a professional deal with the League of Ireland side and earned a call up to the Ireland U19 squad for the first time.

Melia scored on his St Pat’s debut in their 3-1 defeat against Wexford in January, becoming the club’s youngest debutant and goalscorer in the process.

A number of clubs have been tracking his progress and Melia also had a trial at Manchester City in August.

Melia, who has 13 senior appearances and three goals already to his name, became the youngest player to appear in an FAI Cup final last Sunday as St Pat’s beat Bohemians 3-1 at a sold-out Aviva Stadium.

The Eagles would have to wait until Melia turns 18 to sign the forward due to EU laws, but a pre-contract agreement could be reached should the Eagles decide to swoop early.

He has also been capped by Ireland at U15, 16 and 17 level, helping the U17 side to reach the quarter finals of the Euros in May.

Crystal Palace ended their EFL Trophy campaign with a 5-2 defeat at Stevenage on Tuesday night.

Darren Powell’s side went into the contest knowing their hopes of progression had already been dashed. Malcolm Ebiowei and Ademola Ola-Adebomi scored for the Eagles.

There was also more game time for Matheus Franca. The Brazilian, a big-money summer signing, played 74 minutes.


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