English born Ghanaian winger Reise Allassani has looked back on his decision to stay at Crystal Palace and how it affected his career.
The Dulwich Hamlet player was considered the brightest spot in the Palace academy and was tipped for greatest success at the club as he turned aside moves to Everton and Tottenham.
However, the change in manager at Palace really affected him as he had to be farmed out years later.
“It was the first time – bearing in mind I was still a kid – when it became serious, and I had to make a decision,” Allassani told the South London Press. “It was tough because there were several attractive offers on the table but, at the same time, Palace was all I knew.
“When I was getting offers from other clubs, it was always on my mind, ‘where is the best place for me to progress and play in the first team?’ If you look at Palace back then, young players were coming through the academy every single season – that’s what kept the club afloat at the time.
“I saw countless players come through – Kieran Djilali, Sean Scannell, Nathaniel Clyne, Jonny Williams, Victor Moses and Wilfried Zaha. There was no doubt that Palace had the best academy, in terms of bringing players through.”
“Dougie was the main reason I stayed at the club. When there was a choice between staying or going, Dougie would come to talk with me and my parents.” He added.
“When a young player is hyped up to be the next big thing and it doesn’t work out the way it could have, people chose to look at the negatives rather than the whole picture.
“For a young player to make it at a club, everything has to connect. The timing has to be right, you have to have the right manager, you have to have no injuries and the opportunity has to arise in the team for you to kick on. If one of those doesn’t connect, you’re not going to make it – it’s plain and simple.
Allassani joined lower tier side Dulwich Hamlet from Coventry last September after series of injuries hampered his progress.