Jason Puncheon was afforded a rare opportunity in the Crystal Palace first team on Wednesday night, starting against Middlesbrough as the Eagles fell to a League Cup defeat.
The appearance marked just Puncheon’s fourth match of the season — his third in the Carabao Cup along with a two-minute cameo in the Premier League against Arsenal.
After recovering from injury, the 32-year-old has found opportunities few and far between at Selhurst Park, yet Roy Hodgson offered a lifeline to Puncheon in his post-match comments.
When asked by Football.london if he would be open to offers for the midfielder in January, the Palace manager sounded a conciliatory tone.
“I’ll have to wait and see,” Hodgson told Football.london. “At the moment Jason Puncheon is very much part of our plans, the way we play and he’s very disappointed tonight because in the previous two rounds we’ve done really well and won and tonight we missed an opportunity by not being able to win this game.”
The fan favourite is capable of greatness in SE25, but has seen his attacking production drop in recent years, with his last league goal for the club coming back in May 2016.
Although Puncheon’s playing time has been limited this season, Hodgson appears to have granted the midfielder a lifeline in the coming matches.
Jason Puncheon essentially has two months to save his Crystal Palace career and justify Roy Hodgson’s belief that the 32-year-old can continue to be an integral member of the Eagles’ squad.