The youngster is regarded as one of England’s biggest talents, having starred for Blackburn in the Championship. This term, the 19-year-old has notched two goals and three assists from midfield for Rovers, which prompted Crystal Palace to shell out north of €20 million to secure his signature on Deadline Day.
Wharton has thus become the latest in a long list of lower-league talents to be given a chance on the biggest stage by the London side. The likes of Eberei Eze and Michael Olise were snapped up from the Championship and have gone on to become Premier League stars for Palace.
This, Wharton has revealed, is what convinced him to join the Eagles ahead of some of the other clubs interested in him, such as Chelsea. The Blues were recently credited with a late interest in the 19-year-old, but the teenager will now play under Roy Hodgson.
What did Wharton say?
After sealing his move to Selhurst Park, Wharton hailed Palace’s approach to recruitment. “That is something that stands out with Crystal Palace – the way they have brought players from the Championship and developed them into world-class players in the Premier League,” the midfielder said.
“That was a big reason why I wanted to come here. The goals [Eze and Olise] scored [against Sheffield United on Tuesday] were unbelievable. It just shows how much they have progressed since they came from the Championship.”
“That is something I want to do at this football club, and hopefully I can.” Palace could certainly use Wharton’s quality for the rest of the campaign as they have underwhelmed so far and languish in 14th. They need to be careful not to get sucked into a relegation battle.