It seems Ian Holloway is already thinking ahead to next season, looking at the sort of free agents who could improve the current squad and getting them on trials before other sides can react.
This is exactly what he has done with Dean Parrett, a versatile 21-year-old midfielder, who played well for Tottenham’s youth teams but never quite cut the standard required to get into the senior side.
Parrett has only just been released by Tottenham and has been training with Crystal Palace since last week, ahead of a more permanent switch once the current season has been completed.
Palace look a very good bet to secure at least a play-off spot by the end of the Championship season, as they already hold one with just one game of the campaign remaining.
Holloway is no stranger to the Championship play-offs having taken Blackpool into the Premier League via that route the last time he was in this sort of position.
His stats in the Under-21 Premier League this season have been superb and are probably what forced Holloway to agree to him training with his first team; one goal and five assists in nine matches.
Bear in mind Spurs have had one of the best youth teams this season, which has gone up against some other very good sides such as Liverpool’s Development squad.
He also has good experience of what it’s like to play in the football league, having spent time on loan with five different clubs during the early chunk of his career.
That guarantees to Palace that he already has some experience of what life is like in the first team of a professional football club, which eradicates the chance he could become intimidated after leaving Tottenham’s youth ranks.
It also guarantees to Holloway that Parrett already has some experience of how rough and physical a lot of football league games can be, which enhances his chances of being thrown into the Palace first team.
This is not a relationship or possible deal which is going to have any bearing on the current season because Holloway won’t want to mess around heading into the play-offs.
The current midfield players at Palace also deserve a chance to try and send the side up via that route and Holloway doesn’t seem like the sort of boss who would be that harsh on them.
Parrett is a top quality player who has already played for England at four different levels. Even if Palace can’t get back into the Premier League, they should seriously consider offering him a contract.
Good signing for the club?
image: © OliverN5