For the first six games of the Premier League campaign, Roy Hodgson placed his trust in academy graduate Tyrick Mitchell, with Patrick van Aanholt unable to start the season through injury.
In those six outings, the 21-year-old impressed hugely. Mitchell has recorded 2.3 clearances and four tackles per game in the Premier League this term.
Interestingly, that latter statistic is among the division’s best. Only Everton’s Allan and West Brom’s Conor Gallagher register more tackles every 90 minutes, as WhoScored shows.
However, Mitchell – who earns £28,846-a-week – suffered an injury which saw him miss the Wolves game, where Van Aanholt came in to replace him.
Since then, the Dutchman has kept his spot at left-back, despite the impressive prospect returning to full fitness.
In our view, that’s extremely harsh from Hodgson.
Mitchell was playing superbly well, and should only really be losing his place in the former England manager’s XI due to a loss of form – to lose it due to an injury, which was no fault of his own, will be hard to take.
While the ex-Sunderland man – who cost £14 million – offers a bit more going forward, the Eagles are far worse off defensively down the left when he plays.
In comparison to Mitchell’s four tackles per game, Van Aanholt only records one tackle every 90 minutes, as well as just 1.3 clearances.
When the south Londoners host Newcastle at Selhurst Park on Friday night, we’d very much like it if Hodgson reinstated the eye-catching youngster.