Roy Hodgson thinks Crystal Palace can help Michael Olise move to another level after the player turned down the chance to join Chelsea to sign a new four-year deal at Selhurst Park.
Palace had looked set to lose the France Under-21 international when Mauricio Pochettino’s side activated a £35million release clause in his contract on Tuesday.
But in a surprise turnaround the 21-year-old has now committed his future to the club, spurning Chelsea in favour of continuing his development in south London.
Palace have already lost Wilfried Zaha to Turkish side Galatasaray this summer and Hodgson admitted to having been concerned at the prospect of losing another key member of his attack in so short a space of time.
Olise was persuaded to stay after conversations with owner Steve Parish and sporting director Dougie Freedman.
Had he opted to move to Stamford Bridge, he would have become the eighth first-team signing of the current transfer window with the club having paid out more than £300m so far.
“I had been concerned,” said Hodgson. “It’s always concerning when a club of Chelsea’s stature take interest in a player, and people will suggest that a move to them might be the best bet.
“I had always hoped that wouldn’t be the case and that Michael would realise that at such a young age, his future here is very bright, and we can help him move very quickly on to another level.
“I am delighted for the club, and I must congratulate Steve Parish and Dougie Freedman on the fantastic job they have done in persuading him that, even though there was pressure from outside, ‘this is your place and this is where we think you will progress in the right way and develop in the right way’.
“To lose a player like Wilfried Zaha and then to lose Olise, that would have changed my perception as coach.”
Olise appeared in all but one of Palace’s Premier League games last season and played a key role during the period late in the campaign when Zaha was out injured.
He has steadily become a central figure in the club’s first team since signing from Reading in 2021 after starring for the Royals in the Championship.
Hodgson said that he had been in discussion since pre-season with the player about his future, in which he expressed his view that Palace represented the best place for him to continue his development.
“I had a long chat with him when the subject was first broached, but that’s a long time ago, pretty much in the pre-season.
“I had a long chat to him, and I made it clear of course how much I enjoyed working with him and how much potential he has as a player.
“I suggested, of course, that being at Crystal Palace and playing here would be best option, but I also made it clear I wouldn’t put him under unnecessary pressure.
“He was under pressure from all sides. I can only tell you: ‘I’m always here if need to speak to discuss further’.
“We spoke every day, but I shied away from asking ‘What are you going to do?’ and giving further advice. He knew what I was going to say, so we just hoped we would get the answer we wanted.”
READ MORE: All the Premier League completed transfers in the summer window of 2023
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