Jonny Williams speaks out about his Crystal Palace future

Wales' Joe Ledley (L) and Jonny Williams (R) before the game

Wales' Jonny Williams is yet to start a Premier League game for Crystal Palace but hopes his excellent Euro 2016 can cement his place in Alan Pardew's XI.

Wales' Jonathan Williams in action with Northern Ireland's Jonny Evans

Welsh international midfielder Jonny Williams is confident he can prove himself in the Crystal Palace first team next season.

Williams impressed for the national side at Euro 2016 this summer, featuring four times as Wales reached the semi-finals in their first tournament appearance since the 1958 World Cup.

However, the 22-year-old has yet to cement his place at club level and spent last season on loan at Championship sides Nottingham Forest and MK Dons, starting just 15 games in the second tier.

Wales' Jonathan Williams in action with Slovakia's Peter Pekarik

However, Williams is hopeful Palace boss Alan Pardew will give him the chance to impress in the top flight next season.

“It’s always an honour to wear the jersey and I’ll do it as much as I can given the opportunity,” Williams said in an interview for Crystal Palace’s official Twitter account.

“I’ll take my chances when they come. I need to see how pre-season goes first and work hard in training. I’ll do my best on the pitch and then it’s up to the manager.”

Williams is yet to start a Premier League game for Palace, having amassed just 12 substitute appearances since their return to the top flight with injuries dogging the process of the club’s 2013 Young Player of the Year.

However, Pardew (below) lauded the diminutive midfielder after his excellent performance in Wales’ 2-1 win against Slovakia in their Euro 2016 opener, suggesting that there may be a place in the first-team if Williams can replicate his international form in the club game.

Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew

 

“His performance for Wales against Slovakia was the best I have seen from him since I’ve come back to Crystal Palace (in January 2015),” the former Newcastle United boss wrote in his column for the Daily Mail.

“He’s had terrible injuries and a couple of loans, at Nottingham Forest and MK Dons, that didn’t really work out for him but he has real love from Selhurst Park and he was terrific on Saturday evening.”

“I have a lot of people telling me to give him a chance. All my players, all my staff think the world of him.”

Nicknamed ‘Joniesta’ by his team-mates due to his stylistic similarities with Spain international Andres Iniesta (below), Williams will be hoping his stand-out performances on French soil this summer will provide the basis for a belated run in the Palace first team.

Andres Iniesta celebrates after scoring the third goal for Barcelona

His quick feet, agile control and dexterous link-play offers a more subtle, central threat to the direct wingplay of Yannick Bolasie, Wilfried Zaha and new signing Andros Townsend, but Pardew says Williams still has much to do to earn a long-awaited first Premier League start.

“I haven’t seen enough from him. I hope this (the Euros) was a corner-turning moment.”

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