James Tomkins: Crystal Palace defender getting better with every game after injury, says Roy Hodgson

Jack Rosser and Simon Collings
·1-min read
<p>Tomkins helped Palace secure a draw at Arsenal on Thursday</p> (Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Tomkins helped Palace secure a draw at Arsenal on Thursday

(Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Roy Hodgson has hailed James Tomkins for his return to the side, and says the Crystal Palace defender is getting better and better with each game.

The former West Ham man missed the majority of 2020 through injury but has returned in recent weeks as the Eagles have tightened up at the back.

Thursday's 0-0 draw at Arsenal was the first time Hodgson's side had kept consecutive clean sheets in the Premier League, with Tomkins alongside Cheikhou Kouyate, who has excelled after dropping into the back four from midfield.

"He is an excellent player," said Hodgson. "James Tomkins is one who we always thought was a top, top-class centre-back.

"We have missed him. He has had a really bad period with injuries but that seems to have passed now.

"With every game he gets fitter, better and stronger and there is no doubt that he gives us a quality centre-back.

"He is not the only one, Cheik has done exceptionally well with him and on top of that there is Scott Dann and Gary Cahill.

"It is an area of the field where we consider ourselves quite blessed. And we're going to need it."

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