By Sam Smith
New Crystal Palace defender Jarosław Jach has described joining the Eagles as a “dream” and is excited to face rivals Brighton and Hove Albion.
Jach signed from Polish club Zagłębie Lubin and has agreed a three-and-a-half-year contract at Selhurst Park.
The defender told eagles.cpfc.co.uk: “This is a dream come true because the Premier League was the league I have followed since I was little and I always wanted to come and play here.
“I know it is a club from South London and has an outstanding manager, Roy Hodgson, who led the England team in the past.
“I am very pleased, and I hope that I will be able to help Crystal Palace stay in the Premier League and perhaps achieve bigger successes.
“I have heard that even though there are many clubs in London, the biggest derby for the fans are those with Brighton which makes it one of the biggest games of the season, so I hope one day I will be able to win such a game.”
The 23-year-old has been capped twice by Poland’s senior national team and also appeared 14 times for the under-21s, scoring once and appearing in last summer’s European Championship in which he featured against England.
Jach described his story: “I’m a guy from a little town in Poland. I began my career in a rather small club from which I have managed to go further thanks to a friend, whose further move made me a bit jealous.
“After a few good performances I was noticed by Zagłębie Lubin. My beginnings there were not easy. I was a reserve player and slowly got through to the first team. Often, I was part of the line-up for several games.
“This last year was crazy for me. It began badly because it started with an injury and chasing the time to be fit for the under-21 European Championship which were hosted in Poland so it was an important event for me.
“This last year was crazy for me. It began badly because it started with an injury and chasing the time to be fit for the under-21 European Championship which were hosted in Poland so it was an important event for me. The year ended in a fantastic way because I was called up to Poland’s senior national team and had good performances for Zagłębie Lubin.”
Jach joined Zagłębie Lubin from Lechia Dzierżoniów in 2013 and scored four times in 78 appearances for the Coppers before switching Lubin for London on Tuesday.
He said: “My beginnings there weren’t easy. I was a reserve player and slowly got through to the first team.”
An injury crisis has led to a lack of defenders available to Hodgson and Jach is a welcome addition, capable of playing at both centre-back and left-back. The anterior cruciate ligament injury that Scott Dann suffered against Manchester City will keep him out until the beginning of next season, while Mamadou Sakho is still expected to be out for several weeks due to a calf injury.
Jach became the second signing made by Hodgson as head coach at Palace, joining Swedish midfielder Erdal Rakip who signed on-loan from Benfica until the end of the season. Both players are likely to be included in the Eagles’ squad for the trip to West Ham United on January 30, while Jach will be looking forward to April 14 when Palace welcome Brighton to Selhurst.