Luke Plange names Arsenal star as idol following Patrick Vieira transfer decision

New Crystal Palace signing Luke Plange has been speaking about his transfer deadline day move to Selhurst Park and what Eagles fans can expect from the striker.

The 19-year-old signed a three-and-a-half-year deal at Selhurst Park late on Monday night but he will be heading straight back to Pride Park on loan for the rest of the season.

Both Palace and Derby County had to get special permission from the EFL for the deal to go through, with the Rams currently under a transfer embargo due to being in administration.

Palace chairman Steve Parish referenced that when welcoming Plange to the club, with the teenager adding he couldn’t wait to get started with them in the summer.

“I’m very excited to be joining a big Premier League club,” he told PalaceTV.

“Obviously I’ll be with Derby fighting for them in the Championship. But I will be ready to go back to Crystal Palace in the summer and get ready to go.

“When I heard I was very excited about the news. I know Palace are a big club, a big Premier League club. I knew that it was a very good chance for me to take and to progress in my career.”

Plange only made his senior debut at Derby in December but has quickly impressed boss Wayne Rooney after scoring three goals in six starts, including netting during Saturday’s 2-2 comeback draw against Birmingham.

The teenager has had the ideal mentor to work under so far in Rooney, who is both Manchester United and England’s all-time record goalscorer, and will get the chance to work with another legend when he joins Patrick Vieria at Palace in the summer.

Crystal Palace have completed the signing of teenage striker Luke Plange from Derby County
Crystal Palace have completed the signing of teenage striker Luke Plange from Derby County

“[Wayne Rooney] was a world-class striker for many years – for decades,” added Plange. “The amount of goals he scored, you really can’t knock him because he was doing it for years and years and years.

“I’m taking tips and he’s helping me grow as a striker, and all the things he’s telling me I’m just trying to implement into my game and improve as a striker as well.

“He [Vieira] is such a big name for Arsenal as well, and part of the Invincible team. That’s a big figure to be playing underneath as well.”

Plange also mentioned the names of the players that influenced him growing up when asked about his own playing style.

“I like to do it all,” he said. “I like to run in-behind, I like to come to feet, I like to take on players. To shoot from outside the box, poach inside the box, on my left and my right.

“Ronaldo or Thierry Henry [were my idols]. They were just world-class. I’ve been watching them for a long time: clips or old games. They were really powerful, skilful and scored loads of goals as well.”

Plange is the latest in a long list of young Championship stars to join Crystal Palace, following Eberechi Eze, Michael Olise, Marc Guehi and Conor Galagher in recent seasons.

His contract at Selhurst Park is until 2025.

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