Crystal Palace have allowed development squad pair Jerome Binnom-Williams and Jake Gray to depart, joining Peterborough United and Luton Town respectively on free transfers.
Both players have signed two-year-deals at their respective clubs having been surplus to requirements at Selhurst Park where they both made minimal first team appearances. Both have enjoyed successful loan spells in the lower regions of the Football League in recent years and have taken the step to leave the club permanently to further their careers.
Loan spells allowed Binnom-Williams’ stock to rise
Binnom-Williams, an energetic left-back, joins the Posh having come through the Eagles’ academy system before making two appearances for the first team. He also featured during Palace’s tour of America in 2014 under the management of Tony Pulis.
Loan spells at Forest Green Rovers, Southend United, Burton Albion and Leyton Orient improved his reputation in the Football League and Peterborough were quick to snap up the youngster – who can also play on the wing – on a free transfer.
Former Wycombe youngster Gray will hope his career will kick on
Attacking midfielder Gray joined Palace as a 16-year-old following the closure of Wycombe Wanderers’ academy in 2012. Similar to Binnom-Williams, Gray has had to use the loan system to find his way in senior football, despite making two appearances for the Eagles’ first team in the Football League Cup in the 2015/16 season.
The Aylesbury-born youngster was then allowed to join Cheltenham Town for the remainder of the campaign. However, it was a loan spell at Hartlepool Town last season where Gray really made a name for himself, scoring six goals in 33 appearances in all competitions, whilst one of those goals – against Derby County – was nominated for the FA Cup Goal of the Season award.
His spell at Hartlepool was enough for several Eagles fans to believe that a future in the first team might be in store for Gray, however, manager Alan Pardew has refused to use him in his side during pre-season and Gray has had to settle for playing in the development squad’s friendlies.
A move to the Hatters will allow him to kick-start his career in League Two where he impressed last season.