Football - Pulis: Kaikai must prove himself

Teenage prospect Sullay Kaikai can inspire a new batch of home-grown talent to break through at Crystal Palace, according to Tony Pulis, if the young striker proves he is good enough.

PA Sport Report

Eagles manager Pulis has confirmed 18-year-old Academy graduate Kaikai is in contention to make the squad for Saturday's Barclays Premier League trip to Norwich.

The former Stoke boss has already identified two more Palace youngsters he believes boast rich potential.

But Pulis has warned Palace's reputation for developing their own young stars will not force him to compromise his own high standards.

He said: "Just because Palace have got a fantastic reputation for developing players it doesn't mean players just step into the team.

"Those players have to prove they are good enough.

"We had a young lad who scored a hat-trick in the Under-21s and he will be coming to Norwich.

"I'm hoping there will be two or three of those.

"(Ryan) Shawcross was captain at 19 years of age at Stoke, we had Asmir Begovic at 20, Marc Wilson at 20, Steven N'Zonzi and Ryan Shotton - they were all young players who came through.

"But the big thing was they were good enough to play in the team."

Born in London to Sierra Leonean parents, Kaikai joined Crystal Palace aged 15.

Kaikai won the League Football Education goal of the season award in 2012/13 for his solo goal against Liverpool during a 3-3 draw in August 2012.

Palace bosses will hope he can follow in the footsteps of club products like Manchester United forward Wilfried Zaha and Southampton's Nathaniel Clyne.

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