Linlithgow teen nicknamed 'Scottish Messi' ready to make waves for Patrick Vieira's Crystal Palace

Scottish teenager Scott Banks is poised to play for Crystal Palace's first team this season after impressing new manager Patrick Vieira.

Scott Banks of Crystal Palace celebrates scoring from a free kick in a pre-season friendly against Reading on Saturday. Pic: Getty Images.

The 19-year-old from Linlithgow has scored in consecutive pre-season friendlies against Charlton Athletic and Reading in the last week, with Vieira keen to develop him and other young players at Selhurst Park.

A graduate of Dundee United’s youth academy, Banks moved to Palace in January 2020. He has since spent time on loan at Alloa and Dunfermline and has represented Scotland at under-19 and under-21 level.

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Vieira has given the attacking midfielder opportunities this summer and been rewarded with goals. After breaking forward for an instinctive first-time finish in the 2-2 draw with Charlton, Banks struck a sublime free-kick in the dying seconds of Saturday’s 3-1 win at Reading.

Palace fans have already christened him ‘The Scottish Messi’ – perhaps slightly tongue-in-cheek. Vieira spoke of his admiration for the teen and believes he can cope in English football.

“His work was really good, but he's somebody who technically can play at that level. He's really smart, always finding the right position to allow himself to go forward. He's a really smart kid and I think he will spend time with the first-team,” said the Frenchman, who replaced Roy Hodgson as Palace manager last month.

Vieira added: “It's always difficult when you manage to have a couple of [first-team] players and a lot of young players from the academy to find the right balance. But I'm quite satisfied with where we are tactically. There's a really good understanding from the players about what I want and now we have all the players available to perform.”

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