Gary Cahill says the young talent running through his former club is “unbelievably exciting” for the fans.
Cahill left Chelsea in the summer after seven trophy-laden years and returned for the first time in a Crystal Palace side who were beaten 2-0.
The 33-year-old former England defender was given a wonderful reception by the home supporters.
“It was always going to be emotional,” Cahill said. “I had so many good times and memories here.
“Thank you to the fans for the reception, that was terrific.
“For the fans it’s unbelievably exciting, the average age of the team has dropped significantly.
“It’s not just about putting young players in, it’s about putting players in that can adapt at this level. Every young player needs an opportunity and you need to take that chance and that’s what they’re doing.
“The future looks very bright at the club and it’s something that England will benefit from too because a lot of them are breaking into the England side too.”