The Crystal Palace 2020/21  season review: Eberechi Eze sweeps up awards
(Photo by Charlotte Wilson/Offside/Offside via Getty Images)

It's been a long season for Crystal Palace and their fanbase, with Roy Hodgson's side eventually ending in 14th place in the 2020/2021 Premier League season. There were some brilliant stand-out players and some huge performances put in by the club.

The awards being given out are player of the season, young player of the season, signing of the season, the performance of the year, the goal of the season, unsung hero, most improved player and moment of the season.

Here are the official Crystal Palace Vavel awards...

Player of the seasonEberechi Eze

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When Eberechi Eze signed from Championship side Queens Park Rangers for just under £20 million in the summer, there were doubts about whether or not the England U21 international would be able to hit the ground running in the Premier League.

The attacking midfielder scored 14 goals in the previous season for QPR and started every game for the London based side.

However, Eze has made sure his name is the first on the team sheet week in, week out with his commanding performances and the creativity the midfielder offers. 

With his creative passes and positive dribbles, he has become a fan favourite, contributing four goals and six assists for Palace.

With the midfielder suffering an Achilles injury, the side will miss his forward-thinking and his ability to make things happen in the next Premier League season.

Young Player of the season - Tyrick Mitchell

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When defender, Tyrick Mitchell, broke onto the scene last season, fans were intrigued to see how far the defender could go at the club. With experienced left-back Patrick Van Aanholt putting in strong and consistent performances in the Crystal Palace backline, there was doubt on whether the defender would be able to breakthrough.

Roy Hodgson clearly had true belief in the 21-year-old defender, awarding him 19 appearances for The Eagles. His performances led to the player signing a long term contract until summer 2025

His strong tackles and power on and off the ball make him a very important component at Selhurst Park, and for the future of the team. 

Mitchell's final performance of the season saw him perform expertly against prolific Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah, using his strength and power to try and contain the fast winger at Anfield.

The future sure looks bright for Mitchell and the future of Crystal Palace.

Signing of the season - Eberechi Eze

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For Eberechi Eze to come in from Championship side QPR and have the impact that he did, the midfielder deserves to be signing of the season.

The composure the midfielder has on the ball and his ability to run past his opponents with ease meant the midfielder settled into the side very quickly and made him a permanent part of the squad.

Eze truly boosted the attacking options of Roy Hodgson's team as only relegated Norwich (26) had scored fewer goals than Crystal Palace last season (31). His ability has allowed the Eagles to rely less on forward Wilfried Zaha for his goal contributions

The side have scored 41 goals this season, improving their tally by 10 goals, and Eberechi Eze has been integral for this Crystal Palace side in the 2020/2021 Premier League season.

Performance of the year - Manchester United 1-3 Crystal Palace 

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When Crystal Palace turned up at Old Trafford to face Manchester United on the 19th of September 2020, they would have been very aware of the problems their opponents could offer all over the pitch. 

Crystal Palace started on the front foot and took the lead in the 7th minute when Andros Townsend squeezed a shot into the bottom corner from Jeffrey Schlupp's cross.

The away side kept on the front foot, limiting United's chances to score, with Jordan Ayew forcing goalkeeper David De Gea into making an important reflex save to keep the deficit to just one goal.

The score was doubled when the video-assisted referee helped referee Martin Atkinson award a penalty to Palace after defender Victor Lindelof handled the ball in the penalty area. After Jordan Ayew's penalty was saved, Martin Atkinson ordered the penalty to be retaken after De Gea came off his goalline before the penalty was taken.

Wilfried Zaha made sure Palace didn't spurn their second chance at doubling their lead, firing the ball in the top corner of the net. 

Man United pulled a goal back through debutant Donny Van De Beek 10 minutes from time, but Zaha put the final nail in the coffin five minutes later with a well-placed shot into the bottom hand corner to make it 3-1 to Palace.

This really helped to start the season positively for Hodgson's side, with the team showing real power to overcome Man United.

Other notable mentions are: The 5-1 win at the Hawthorns v West Brom, the 2-1 smash and grab victory against Brighton and Hove Albion at the Amex and the 4-1 win over Leeds United at Selhurst Park

Goal of the season - Eberechi Eze v Sheffield United

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When Eberechi Eze picked up the ball inside his own half, there was no real expectation that the forward would go on to score. 

However, the English U21 international turned brilliantly on the halfway line and raced forward with real attacking intent, evading multiple challenges from the Sheffield United defenders.

The former QPR midfielder then effortlessly rolled the ball into the bottom from 18 yards past goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale. 

This goal was a true reflection of the skill Eze possesses, showing his accuracy to roll the ball into the back of the net to the pace he showed to dribble past his opponents. His attacking flair will really be missed at the start of the 2021-22 Premier League campaign. 

Unsung hero - Cheikhou Kouyate

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The performances that Cheikhou Kouyate put in for Crystal Palace really can go unnoticed, but the 31-year old Senegalese midfielder-turned defender really does do the basics right for his club.

Having a player like Kouyate in your squad must have been a dream for Hodgson. He can fit in as a solid centre-back or as a strong midfielder.

With his strength and positioning, he was a strong part of the defence, making a strong centre-back partnership with Gary Cahill. His heading ability and power help him to dispossess attackers and helped his side keep clean sheets over big sides such as Arsenal and Manchester United.

His distribution of the ball from defence to midfield is truly skilful; this really helps him when he needs to play in his midfield role for the club.

Purely for the ability, Kouyate possesses on and off the ball, it is hard to look past him for the unsung hero of the team.

Most improved player - Christian Benteke

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When Christian Benteke signed from Liverpool ahead of the 2016-17 season, he showed real fight and skill to notch up fifteen goals for Palace. His heading ability was second to none, and he put some game-winning performances in for his team. 

Then a real drop-off happened, with the next three season seeing the Belgian striker's tally end at three, one and two goals. A huge drop-off in confidence really showed on the pitch, and there wasn't much going for the forward. 

The 2020/21 season was much different, and a flashback to the old Benteke, with the player grabbing 10 goals and making double figures in the league for only the second time in his stint at Palace. His accuracy when it comes to getting on the end of crosses has massively improved, with the forward grabbing his tenth goal in Roy Hodgson's last game at Selhurst Park.

Benteke will be hoping to push on from this stat next season as the striker is finally showing that true hunger for goals again. 

Moment of the season - Roy Hodgson's farewell speech at Selhurst Park

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After four years at Crystal Palace, 73-year-old manager Roy Hodgson announced that he would be leaving the club at the end of the season. He helped to maintain Crystal Palace's spot in the Premier League every season, and the fans were thankful for his efforts at the club. 

Fans were allowed back into Selhurst Park after the Covid-19 restrictions were eased, and the home fans gave the manager a great reception as he received a guard of honour from both teams before the start of the game.

Hodgson addressed the fans and players at the end of the game, saying: "It has been a magnificent four years of my career, and I enjoyed every moment. We would have liked to have finished the season here with a good result against a top team.

"I shall miss everybody, I shall miss football, but it has been a fantastic journey, and I thank you very much."

These kind words from Roy Hodgson truly show the relationship he has with the home fans and the club. The performances and confidence he instilled into his players will never be forgotten.

His ability in changing how the team will play without key players is commendable, and Crystal Palace will struggle to find such an experienced manager as Roy Hodgson. Good luck, Roy!

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