For Jesurun Rak-Sakyi, stepping into a Premier League match is a huge personal moment and has expressed his pride and gratitude for the achievement after featuring against former club Chelsea on the opening day of the 2021/22 season.
The 18-year-old attacker – who left Chelsea just two years ago – earned 15 minutes on the pitch, replacing Jairo Riedewald in a 3-0 defeat at Stamford Stamford Bridge Saturday.
“It was a proud moment for me and my family. It was a great opportunity for me; I thank the coaches for helping me to get to this point and I thank the gaffer for trusting me and giving me [the] opportunity to play. Hopefully, more to come.
“I felt it went quite well. I just tried to stay calm, keep the ball and play simple,” to Palace TV after the game.
Rak-Sakyi was eager to thank manager Patrick Vieira for his faith and support so far, saying: “I think he’s been incredible from the start, he’s really encouraged me, motivated me just to make sure I keep pushing and working hard and letting me know that if I work hard I’ve got a chance to play regularly in the first-team.
“He just wanted me to express myself because he knew it was a big moment for me coming on the pitch. He just wanted me to take every minute and keep working hard.”