Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira praised Albert Sambi Lokonga’s first start for the team, saying he was happy with the midfielder’s performance against Brentford.

Vieira also explained why he took Lokonga off in the 63rd minute, citing concerns about the player’s physical fitness.

Vieira believes Lokonga can help improve the team and provide an extra attacking option, thanks to his technical abilities and comfort playing between the lines.

“He’s been really good,” said Vieira of the 23-year-old.

“I was happy with the game he had against Brentford.

“I took him off because he didn’t play for a while, and physically he was starting to drop off a little bit.

“For his first start, I was pleased with what I saw on the field.

“He can improve us and [allow us] to have one extra player going forward – he has that in his locker.

“He is capable of playing between the lines – technically, he is really comfortable.

“With the quality he has, he can break the line and find those players between the line.”

Lokonga got his second start on Saturday as Palace held Liverpool to a 0-0 draw at Selhurst Park.

He finished the game with a rating of 7.4 having made 12 recoveries.