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James McArthur hails summer signing as a ‘revelation’ for his breakthrough campaign at Crystal Palace – South London News

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James McArthur says that Michael Olise has been a “revelation” for Crystal Palace this season and believes that the 20-year-old has a big future ahead of him.

French U21 international Olise joined the Eagles for £8million from Reading in the summer, the first signing made after the appointment of Patrick Vieira last summer.

Olise has registered 12 goal contributions in all competitions in his debut season in SE25.

He played four key passes during 23 minutes on the Selhurst Park pitch in Monday’s 0-0 draw against Leeds. He was unable to start after being forced to come off in the first half against Newcastle United last time out with a foot injury he suffered on international duty.

“He has been a revelation,” said McArthur. “For a young kid to come in from the Championship and do what he has done, he has got everything.

“His numbers speak for themselves and hopefully he can keep performing for the team and keep adding those goals and assists. I am sure that he has got a big, big future ahead of him.”

The Eagles had 17 shots against Leeds but were unable to find that elusive goal as their winless run in all competitions extended to four matches.

“It was a tight game – a hard-fought point,” said McArthur. “We could have won it on another night, but we just didn’t have that finishing touch up-front.

“We couldn’t get the breakthrough goal, and when you can’t score, it is important that you don’t concede, so we take the point and move on.

“Leeds are a good side, especially since their new manager has come in. They have really kicked on – it was a dangerous game for us.

“When you lose two games in the Premier League, you want to make sure that it is not three.”

It was the first point collected since the Eagles lost 2-0 to Chelsea in the FA Cup semi-final earlier this month.

Speaking on the reaction from the side following the loss at Wembley, McArthur said: “You want to get to the final when you have got a great chance, but we played against a brilliant side on the day, we lost it, and we can’t do anything about it, so we needed to move on fast.

“Our performance levels against Newcastle in the first half weren’t good enough. It was important that we started well on Monday with the crowd behind us – we did that.

“We just need to build from here. We don’t want it to be one of these seasons where you set yourself up for a great ending, and you don’t finish it.”

Eberechi Eze made his first Premier League home start under Vieira in the goalless draw but showed signs of the form that saw him on the periphery of Gareth Southgate’s initial 33-man England squad for Euro 2020 before he suffered an Achilles injury prior to the penultimate game of last season.

“He has obviously found it hard to get into the team while we have been playing really well but he took his opportunity well tonight,” said the Scot, 34.

“Hopefully, he can get more time on [the pitch], and show what he was doing last year and get back to that level. You have seen glimpses of it [against Leeds], especially in that second half. Hopefully, he can build on this as well.”

Asked if he had any personal chats with Eze while he waited to make his return to the side, McArthur added: “Yeah, it is important for us experienced boys to keep talking to the younger lads, especially when you’re going through a harder time when you’re not playing.

“We have all been there. I had a really tough spell at Wigan, so you can help the young players through that when they’re not playing.

“He’s very calm, level headed, keeps working hard and doing the right things.”

McArthur started every game of the season in the top-flight under Vieira until he suffered a hamstring injury after the 2-0 win against Wolves in early November.

The former Scotland international returned to the side after an 11-game absence in the league and on Monday he played his first 90 minutes in the Premier League since the 1-1 draw with Burnley in late February.

“It was frustrating getting injured, but it is part of football,” explained McArthur.

“I am experienced enough now to keep my head and to try and do all the right things to get back playing.

“I am back playing now and happy to be helping the team.”

MAIN PICTURE: KEITH GILLARD

INSET PICTURES: ROB AVIS

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