Signed for £0, sold for £49.5m: Parish struck gold for Palace over £90k-p/w gem – opinion

Signed for £0, sold for £49.5m: Parish struck gold for Palace over £90k-p/w gem – opinion

Developing young players before selling them on for a healthy profit and reinvesting the funds is an extremely viable way for middling clubs to compete with football’s elite – just ask Leicester City.

It’s a tactic that Crystal Palace haven’t employed enough throughout their recent history, but one homegrown talent has bucked the trend in dramatic fashion.

During the summer of 2019, Aaron Wan-Bissaka made the switch from his boyhood club to English giants Manchester United in a £49.5m deal.

“It’s an unbelievable feeling and an honour to call myself a Manchester United player and something I know that only a small number of players have the privilege to say,” the now 23-year-old said following his unveiling.

It was also a move which left his former club grinning from ear to ear. Wan-Bissaka had joined the Eagles for free as a youngster and rose through the academy ranks of the south London club before making his first team debut back in 2018.

After making just 46 senior appearances for Palace, chairman Steve Parish was able to secure the biggest transfer fee that the Eagles have ever received for a player – and by a considerable distance.

However, it’s what the club’s chief did with the proceeds afterwards which makes Wan-Bissaka’s exit such a worthwhile one.

One the next two years, Parish brought in Eberechi Eze, Odsonne Edouard and Joachim Andersen all within the fee that Palace’s most profitable academy graduate fetched.

His departure left room in the budget for Marc Guehi, Will Hughes and Michael Olise to further enhance new manager Patrick Vieira’s squad, allowing Palace to progress and dream of punching above their weight in a similar vein to Leicester.

Letting go of the £90,000-per-week Wan-Bissaka when he did meant that Parish struck gold over the right-back’s sale, securing a better future for the Selhurst Park outfit as a result.

In other news… 75% duels won, 96 touches: Palace monster shines on the international stage

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