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Malcolm Ebiowei explains choosing Crystal Palace over Man Utd

Malcolm Ebiowei admits home ties played a big role in his decision to join Crystal Palace.

The winger resisted an approach from Manchester United to sign for Palace from Derby County.

“I'm delighted, I'm over the moon," he told Palace TV in his first interview since joining the club. “I'm south London born and bred, so it's a plus for me.

“I have seen a lot of players step up from the Championship to the Premier League and get their chance playing, and I was thinking that I would like to take that chance as well.

“I'm very excited – a bit nervous but that's a part of it really. Excited."

Ebiowei stepped up to senior football in the 2021/22 season, making his Championship debut under Wayne Rooney at Derby County.

“It still feels unreal," he says of making his debut. “I'm grateful to the gaffer, the staff. It will always have a place in my heart. They put their trust in me and gave me a chance. I'm very grateful to them and they know that.

“In the beginning [the Championship] was mad hard. It was still hard [at the end] but I got used to it. It was a good experience."

After working with one Premier League legend in Wayne Rooney, Ebiowei's short career so far will take in another all-time great in Patrick Vieira at Crystal Palace.

“You can't really put it into words," he said. “[Wayne Rooney] is just the gaffer – I can't call him by his first name. It's just amazing.

“I didn't really get used to it, I'm still when talking to him a bit nervous. It will probably be the same for the gaffer here as well!

“I'm very fortunate to experience this. I have [spoken to Vieira], I had a Zoom call with him. It was a good conversation."

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Paul Vegas

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