Michael Olise will develop into a top player at Crystal Palace according to Patrick Vieira, who welcomed the 19-year-old as his first signing since taking over as manager.
Vieira revealed he spoke to Olise before the Frenchman signed from Championship side Reading on a five-year deal:
“I spoke to him about which part of his game he has to keep developing and working on,” the manager said. “I explained to him that Palace is the right place for him to step into the Premier League: that we have the tools in our football club to make him a better player.
“We’ve known him quite well because he’s a player the football club have been following for a long time.
“There were some big challenges, and to sign him, I think, is credit to Dougie [Freedman] and his staff.”
I like to express myself - to have fun.Michael Olise
Olise signs after an exceptional season at Madejski stadium, scoring seven times, assisting a further 12 goals and going on to be named EFL Young Player of the Year.
Speaking with Palace TV after putting pen to paper, he said: “I had a conversation with the manager and he was talking about how he sees me in the team: the plans, the development and the vision for the club. It’s very good, so I thought it was a good fit.
“It’s a big moment: Premier League football. The Premier League is known to be the top league in the world, so it’s definitely going to be a lot tougher but nothing that I’m not ready for.”
Olise hopes to endear himself to the Selhurst Park faithful with his free-flowing attacking ability:
“I like to express myself – to have fun,” he said. “I’m creative, [like] dribbling and [I’m] just free, really… Last season was my main season where I was contributing to the team and helping them in our fight.
“That season was a good one. [Palace] are a good Premier League team – it’s a club where you’re free to express yourself.
“[I hope to] push to win as many games and see where that takes us.”
This is a really good signing for us.Patrick Vieira
Despite still being a teenager, Olise’s talent was noticed across the Championship and beyond during his seasons at Reading. It’s something that Vieira was keen to add to his squad.
“He’s got the eye for goal,” said the manager. “He’s got the talent to create chances for his teammates. He can see the pass and he can deliver it. He’s got a really good technical ability to make something happen during a game.
“I think [my role] is to make him do what he’s doing best: enjoying his football on the field, scoring goals, going forwards and playing with personality. He’s got that in his locker.”
After the first signing of his tenure, Vieira looked ahead to an important summer for the club.
“I think it’s important to refresh the squad: to bring some new faces, to bring young talent to this football club. This is a really good signing for us.
“Of course, there will be more signings coming."