Highly-rated Crystal Palace starlet joins League Two side on loan – The right step towards development?

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 25: Nya Kirby of Crystal Palace during the Pre-Season Friendly match between Crystal Palace and Oxford United at Selhurst Park on August 25, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

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Why Crystal Palace loaning out Nya Kirby is a good piece of business

According to Tranmere Rovers official website, Crystal Palace midfielder Nya Kirby has joined Tranmere Rovers on loan until the end of the season to further his development. 

The 20-year-old has come through the door at Prenton Park as the first acquisition of the January window for Keith Hill’s side, who are vying for promotion in EFL League Two. The manager has heaped praises on Kirby as a great character and a technically gifted player who is good in possession. (h/t Tranmere Rovers official website)

As per the report, Kirby is also excited to embrace the opportunity to continue his development at Tranmere. The highly-rated youngster made his first-team debut for Crystal Palace in an EFL Cup tie against Bournemouth back in September last year.

afc bournemouth v crystal palace carabao cup second round 2
BOURNEMOUTH, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 15: Nya Kirby of Crystal Palace controls the ball during the Carabao Cup Second Round match between AFC Bournemouth and Crystal Palace at Vitality Stadium on September 15, 2020 in Bournemouth, England. (Photo by Kirsty Wigglesworth – Pool/Getty Images)


Born in Islington. Nya Kirby started his footballing education at Tottenham Hotspur before joining London rivals Crystal Palace at the youth level in 2017. After progressing through the U-18 ranks, the midfielder was loaned out to Blackpool in League One in January 2019 to enhance his development. 

The youngster made a positive impression during his temporary stint at Bloomfield Road, scoring once in 11 appearances. Kirby burst on to the scene for Palace’s U-23 side this term, featuring 4 times in the Premier League 2 Division 2 before sealing a loan move to Tranmere Rovers in the fourth-tier.

Kirby was a key part of the England squad that lifted the 2017 U-17 FIFA World Cup in India and has also represented his nation at U-18 and U-19 levels. 

fbl eng lcup bournemouth crystal palace
Crystal Palace’s English midfielder Nya Kirby shoots but fails to score during the English League Cup second round football match between Bournemouth and Crystal Palace at the Vitality Stadium in Bournemouth, southern England on September 15, 2020. (Getty Images)

Kirby needs regular playtime to progress

Kirby has made significant strides in his development over the past couple of years, impressing for Palace’s U-18 and U-23 sides. But with the midfielder set to turn 21 later this month, it is important for him to start making a gradual transition to the senior men’s game.

Kirby showed glimpses of his potential on loan at Blackpool and the temporary switch to Tranmere presents yet another opportunity for the youngster to get some much-needed competitive experience under his belt. An impressive spell in League Two would surely help him take his game to the next level. 

In truth, the door remains open for Kirby to establish himself as a first-team player at Palace. Roy Hodgson already has several ageing legs in that department in the form of James McCarthy, James McArthur and Cheikhou Kouyate. With all those players on the wrong side of 30, Kirby needs to start making an impression on loan to break into the senior set-up.

england u17 vs germany u17 algarve cup u17
ALBUFEIRA, PORTUGAL – FEBRUARY 12: Nya Kirby (R) of England U17 challenges Dennis Jastrzembski (L) of Germany U17 during the U17 Algarve Cup Tournament Match between England U17 and Germany U17 on February 12, 2017, in Albufeira, Portugal. (Photo by Filipe Farinha/Getty Images)

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Hodgson has already shown that he is not afraid to throw youngsters into the mix if they are genuinely good enough to do a job for the team. The rise of academy graduate Tyrick Mitchell at left-back lies testament to that. The manager has also integrated Eberechi Eze in the set-up after he arrived from QPR as a top young player in the Championship.

Hence, Nya Kirby should take inspiration those aforementioned factors and try to make the most of his loan spell at Tranmere. That would surely put him in good stead for staking a claim for a first-team role at Palace moving forward.