Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew has told the London Evening Standard that he has 'evolved' Jason Puncheon as a player since arriving at Selhurst Park.
Pardew has deployed Puncheon in a more central role and he believes that the 28-year-old has benefitted from this move.
Puncheon created three goals for the side against West Ham United at the weekend and his manager clearly feels that he is starting to develop into a hugely important player.
"I've been very impressed with Jason since I have returned," Pardew said.
“He gives us some intelligence. It is very important in this league to have an intelligent player with the final pass and I’ve evolved him into that.”
Puncheon certainly does seem to have raised his game since a slow start to the season, with Pardew's arrival having a major impact on the Eagles' form.
It had looked like the London side were set for a relegation battle when Neil Warnock was in charge, but the appointment of Pardew has seen them climb up the Premier League table.
Palace are now in 12th position and eight points above the bottom three, with their football catching the eye of all observers.
There is a tempo and a purpose to their attacking play that was lacking at the start of the season and Puncheon's role in this cannot be understated.
The attacking midfielder is creating far more chances per game than he was under Warnock, whilst Pardew seems to have created a system which gets him on the ball more.
|Match||Goal Assist||Chances created per game||Shots per game||Dribbles per game||Touches per game||Appearances||Mins Played|
|Jason Puncheon||Since Pardew||4||3.14||1.42||1.57||67.85||7||630|
|Jason Puncheon||Before Pardew||3||1.42||1.78||1.42||40.1||19||1303|
With the likes of Yannick Bolasie and Wilfried Zaha on the wings, Palace now have a front line that many Premier League teams will be envious of and they will be hoping this firepower continues to help them accelerate up the league as the season progresses.