Sport Soccer

Saturday 23 August 2014

Pulis keen to hold on to Ince

Published 15/04/2014 | 06:37

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Tom Ince, pictured, will become a "top Premier League player", according to Crystal Palace boss Tony Pulis

Tom Ince will become one of Tony Pulis' top targets for a permanent Selhurst Park switch if Crystal Palace complete their Barclays Premier League safety mission.

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Palace boss Pulis has tipped England Under-21 forward Ince to become a "top Premier League player", despite the Blackpool loanee only featuring five times since his January move.

Pulis will hold off on all contract talks until Palace secure their Premier League status, but admitted Ince will become a high priority if and when the Eagles tie up their top-flight future.

The former Stoke manager said only the form of resurgent trio Yannick Bolasie, Jason Puncheon and Marouane Chamakh has denied Ince more Selhurst Park opportunities.

"He's one that we'll look at once things are done," said Pulis, gearing up for Wednesday's Premier League trip to Everton.

"I'd love to sit down and get something done with him because I think he's a top player.

"Tom has been absolutely fantastic. Tom Ince will be a top Premier League player, without a shadow of a doubt. He's got all the attributes and everything else.

"The unfortunate thing is that in the position Tom plays, Puncheon has been outstanding, Bolasie's been outstanding. So it's been very, very difficult to get him into those positions, and the one who's played behind has been Chamakh, who has been one of the players of the season."

Liverpool product Ince joined Blackpool in 2011, scoring 31 goals in 100 league appearances.

The Anfield club have been regularly linked with a move to lure Ince back to Merseyside, and Palace will face serious competition for the highly-rated forward's full-time services this summer.

Pulis' regimented influence has helped steer Palace to 12th place in the Premier League, seven points clear of the drop zone.

The cautious boss is refusing to take safety for granted though, and will not start any contract negotiations for next season until Palace's top-flight future is mathematically secure.

Ince's father, former Manchester United and England midfielder Paul, admitted he would like to see his 22-year-old son feature more regularly at Palace in an appearance on Saturday's Match of the Day.

Pulis appreciates his young midfielder's position, but believes he will only improve as he fights to assert his authority.

"It's been difficult for Tom, but I have to say as a young lad who did everything at Blackpool, plays for the Under-21s, he's not been any trouble whatsoever," said Pulis.

"His attitude in training has been fantastic, and the players have taken to him as well.

"I think that's great credit to Tom. I think it's a part of his career that he will look back on and take a lot of stuff from.

"It's not gone to plan in respect of him playing every game but his attitude - he's a credit to his parents and he's been fabulous."

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