BY SAM SMITH
Roy Hodgson has revealed that visa issues will keep Jean-Philippe Mateta waiting for a Premier League debut.
However, Hodgson feels it still would have been too soon for the new Crystal Palace signing to play against West Ham tomorrow even if he were eligible.
Mateta signed for the South Londoners from Mainz last week on an initial 18-month loan with an obligation to make the transfer permanent once certain criteria are met.
Hodgson said: “It’s too early [for him to play against West Ham], we have a few visa problems to sort out but hopefully we can sort those out very quickly and he will be available very soon.
“But it would have been too soon to put him into the squad for tomorrow whatever.”
The 23-year-old had scored 10 goals in 17 appearances for Mainz this season before departing.
Hodgson believes Mateta is suited to Premier League football and expects him to do well.
“He’s looking good. We’re very played to have him here because we’ve chased him for a period of time,” Hodgson continued.
“Luckily, the club have been able to strike a deal with Mainz, so we have him for the next 18 months on loan at least – which is fantastic. We’re hoping he will do as well as we anticipate he will do.
“He’s tall and athletic. He’s someone who likes to run and get behind defences. He is someone who is only really interested in being in the penalty area and scoring goals.
“We feel that he is the type of player who will adapt his game very well to the Premier League, because they are the sort of qualities that are important in Premier League football today.
“It’s going to be a challenge to him in the beginning coming to a new club after three years in Mainz in the Bundesliga.”
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