Eze destined to play at the highest level, says Crystal Palace boss Hodgson

Martin Macdonald
Eze destined to play at the highest level, says Crystal Palace boss Hodgson

Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson has praised the performances of Eberechi Eze in his debut season in the Premier League.

Eze arrived from Queens Park Rangers in the summer for a fee of around £17 million and has gone on to become an instant hit at Selhurst Park, putting in some dazzling displays to help the Eagles reach safety in the Premier League again.

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At the weekend, he scored a superb goal in a victory over Sheffield United as he went on a typically incisive dribble forward, taking the ball past numerous opponents before finding the back of the net.

It was a goal which highlighted the quality of Eze on the ball and how much of a danger he can be in full flow.

Hodgson believes the 22-year-old has what it takes to play consistently at the highest level.

“He’s had a good season, there’s no question of that. I think it’s nice that, not just on this occasion [against Sheffield United], but even on other occasions, he really has shown his skills to the utmost and everyone’s picked up on it. I’m really pleased about that,” he said on Monday.

“I’m most pleased with the way he’s settled in, the way he’s become such a team player, the way he works very hard to absorb any tactical information and do the things that the team requires of him, apart from, of course, the mazy dribbles, the excellent ball control he’s been blessed with also.”

“I would hope that he would [put] this season to good use, he will take stock.

“He knows he has these excellent technical abilities, he knows he is a good player capable of becoming a really good player of the very highest level, but there’s still a bit of learning to be done, a bit of experience to be gained.

“His progress for me has been solid, it’s been there all the time. I’ve seen him getting better, we know what he can do, we know that he’s capable with what he did on Saturday against Sheffield United.”

Eze advised to keep his feet on the ground

The Crystal Palace manager also had positive words for how modest Eze is as a person as he believes this has helped him adapt to the tactical demands of the Premier League after playing in the Championship.

“He’s a modest young man, I think he understands at this stage of his life he’s at the threshold of a fantastic career, but you know the threshold sometimes can be quite a long, large threshold,” Hodgson continued.

“You don’t just step over it with one simple pace.”

In the 2020/21 season, Eze has started 27 games so far, contributing four goals and five assists.