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Patrick Vieira: Charlton loan was ‘best option’ for Palace youngster Rak-Sakyi

Crystal Palace boss Patrick Vieira says it was the best option for Jesurun Rak-Sakyi to spend the season on loan with League One side Charlton Athletic in order to help him grow as a player.

The 19-year-old winger joined the Addicks on a season-long loan in midweek. Ben Garner’s side reportedly beat off competition from Birmingham, Cardiff, Derby, Lincoln and Oxford United to secure his signature.

Michael Olise, Jordan Ayew and Malcolm Ebiowei, who joined from Derby in the summer, are all ahead of Rak-Sakyi in the pecking order to claim the starting spot at right-wing in Vieira’s side.

“It’s a decision we had to make as a football club because he needs to go to the next step and to grow as a player,” said Vieira of Rak-Sakyi heading out on loan.

“He needs to play games week in and week out.

“This [going to Charlton] is the best option for him. He is going to be in a really good football club with a really good manager that he can work with and have game time [from] to help him grow as a player.”

Southwark-born Rak-Sakyi made his senior debut for the Eagles when he came on as a second-half substitute during the Premier League opening day 3-0 defeat to Chelsea last season. He made his first start for Palace in the final day 1-0 win against Manchester United, playing 67 minutes before being replaced by Cheikhou Kouyate.

Crystal Palace v Manchester United, Premier League, Selhurst Park, 22 May 2022
Picture : Keith Gillard

He was due to head out on loan last winter, with Milton Keynes and Accrington Stanley both keen, but Vieira decided to keep him around the first team environment.

“When you’re a young player, and you have the chance to spend time in the first team dressing room, looking around, there is a lot to take in, but Jes has been really good being around the first team,” added Vieira.

“He learnt a lot – you can see that from the couple of games he played with us. Even during the [pre-season] tour, he played in a different position, but he did really well and showed more personality. He is ready for this kind of challenge now.”

Rak-Sakyi penned a new five-year contract extension to keep him at Selhurst Park until 2027 before committing to the Valley for a season.

“It [the extension] shows that he is part of the future of this football club,” said Vieira. “He is a talent, and it’s good that he extended his contract, because that’s what we wanted.

“We just looked at what the best option was for him to go and experience more first-team football, and that [his loan to Charlton] was the best decision for him.”

RAK-SAKYI PICTURE: KEITH GILLARD

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