Michael Olise to Manchester United? Think again after Crystal Palace make a huge statement

Already on the scoresheet as Crystal Palace led 2-0 before the break, Michael Olise was toying with Manchester United.

Spotted he had no one around him, he turned a simple backward pass into a backheel flick.

By the end of last night’s 4-0 rout of Erik ten Hag’s downtrodden side, Olise had scored twice in one of his finest performances for Palace.

It was a night that confirmed the Eagles have their first true talisman since Wilfried Zaha left last summer. Olise embraces expectation.



The 22-year-old born in Hammersmith has 13 goal contributions in his past nine home league starts. No wonder the Selhurst crowd adore him.

United’s defending deserves more than a footnote here. Yes, a makeshift centre-back pairing of the flat-footed Jonny Evans and the hopeless Casemiro told of their injury woes, but the duo contributed to Palace’s attacks.

On 12 minutes, Olise feigned to go one way and then twisted the other, sending Casemiro tumbling to the turf. Olise then darted into a chasm in the United back-line before tucking home.

Then it was Evans’ turn to demonstrate how defending ought not to be done, left in Jean-Philippe Mateta’s wake as the Frenchman rushed through on goal to blast in.

After Tyrick Mitchell had finished off a wonderful team goal for 3-0, it was back to Casemiro who lost the ball with his back to goal. Daniel Munoz slid to Olise, who rammed an unerring strike into the top corner from the angle.

United had been generous, but their hosts deserved credit for taking full advantage.

The showboating Olise was at the heart of it all, at one point backheeling a reverse ball to Eberechi Eze through Casemiro’s tiring legs.

A reoccurring hamstring injury has restricted Olise to just 17 league games this season, but he has rarely fallen under the radar when he has featured. He now has consistency, the biggest factor in whether a talented attacker goes on to become something more.

Despite a release clause worth north of £60million which becomes active this summer, United still want to sign Olise. He showed them what they are so sorely missing.

But why would a young player leave this rousing new project under Oliver Glasner to join a chaotic club in the midst of transition? It was partly United’s ineptitude that afforded Olise the platform to shine last night.

It showed the unity being built under Glasner — who has four wins from Palace’s past five games — that Olise made a beeline for his manager as he celebrated scoring the fourth.

Olise remains, by some distance, the world’s most valuable footballer still uncapped at senior international level

The Austrian’s 3-4-2-1 system is allowing Olise to flourish as he combines with Eberechi Eze and the prolific Mateta.

Olise remains, by some distance, the world’s most valuable footballer still uncapped at senior international level. A former France Under-21 player, he could also turn out for Algeria, Nigeria or England. Gareth Southgate will have been impressed as he watched on, but his immediate attention was on Eze, pushing hard for a place in the Euro 2024 squad and good last night.

Southgate will also have noted Adam Wharton producing his latest composed display, nullifying a United midfield that included Kobbie Mainoo. Wharton in; Mainoo out? Southgate has a lot to ponder. Palace had such room to wander.

The sign of a good manager is the ability to squeeze the best out of seemingly limited players. It has been years since Will Hughes and Nathaniel Clyne have been so effective.

Olise gives Palace inspiration; Glasner gives them orders.

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