Roy Hodgson has failed to contain his delight over Michael Olise’s new Crystal Palace contract – describing it as a ‘red letter day’.
Olise was directly involved in 13 Premier League goals last seasonGetty
Hodgson has been left delighted by the forward committing his future to PalaceGetty
talkSPORT understands that Mauricio Pochettino’s side are now targeting Nottingham Forest star Brennan Johnson.
And Eagles boss Hodgson has been left beaming with joy by the France youth international penning fresh terms at Selhurst Park.
He said: “The decision has been his and I must congratulate Steve Parrish and Dougie Freedman in the fantastic job they have done in persuading him that with pressure from the outside, this is your place and it’s where we believe he can progress and develop in the right way.
“As a manager, it’s perfect because I really enjoyed the ten games last year and I thought the squad was very interesting and when the chairman asked me to come back and do another year I had that in mind.
“To lose Wilfried Zaha first and then possibly Michael Olise it would have changed my perception. So, for me, it’s a red letter day.”
As Hodgson mentioned, Zaha has already left Selhurst Park signing for Galatasaray on a free transfer after his second spell at Palace came to an end.
Losing Olise would have been a hefty blow for Palace, who have made two signings this summer in Matheus Franca and Jefferson Lerma.
Olise has rejected a move Chelsea to stay at Selhurst Park@chair4palace Instagram
Olise is one of Crystal Palace’s prized assetsGetty
Chelsea were not the only club interested in the former Reading star, with Manchester City also keen on the player as a potential Riyad Mahrez replacement.
It makes his decision to sign a new contract at Palace all the more surprising, though Hodgson insisted he made it clear playing in south London was the best place for him to continue his development.
He remarked: “I had a long chat with him when the subject was first broached, but that was a long time ago at the start of pre-season.
“I made it clear to him just how much I enjoy working with him and how much respect I have for him as a player and what potential I think he has as a player.
“And in that I suggested that I thought being at Crystal Palace and playing here would be the best option, but I also made it clear that I wasn’t going to put him under any unnecessary pressure.
“He had pressure from all sides so I could only tell him honestly what I think from my side. I’m always here if he wants to discuss it further.
“As a result, we speak everyday, but I’ve shied away from asking ‘what are you going to do?’ or giving him further advice. He knows what I’ve got to say and I just hoped we’d get the answer we want.”