Big blow for Sheffield United’s first-day rivals Crystal Palace amid Wilf Zaha transfer talk

Big blow for United’s opening-day rivals
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Sheffield United’s opponents on the first day of the new Premier League season have suffered a huge injury blow after the dangerous Michael Olise suffered a hamstring issue whilst away on international duty.

The former Reading man has impressed at Palace since being prised away from Berkshire but is now expected to miss the start of the season - and therefore August 12’s curtain-raising trip to Bramall Lane - after suffering a grade-three hamstring injury on France duty at the U21 European Championship.

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Olise finished last season with only two goals but 11 assists and was named players’ player of the year as Palace finished midtable under Roy Hodgson. The former England manager has agreed to stay at Palace next season after stepping into the breach to replace Patrick Vieira last season but has another big concern in his in-tray, with star man Wilf Zaha’s contract at Selhurst Park coming to an end this week and uncertainty over whether he will stay or move on.

A big-money move to Saudi Arabia has been mooted for the 30-year-old, who has also reportedly been offered a £200,000 a week deal to remain at Palace ahead of the new Premier League season. Zaha recently teamed up with rapper Stormzy to buy a club in their hometown, ninth-tier AFC Croydon Athletic.