Can Eberechi Eze be the Next Star at Selhurst Park?

| April 9, 2021 | 0 Comments

In August 2020, Crystal Palace signed Eberechi Eze from Queens Park Rangers for £19.5 million. The Eagles had spent most of the summer transfer window chasing the Greenwich-born midfielder, initially having a £12 million bid rejected for the England-U21 international. Since moving to Selhurst Park, which is bounded by Norwood to the east and the south, the 22-year-old has proved himself as a Premier League-level player. Over time, he’ll only get better, which is an exciting thought for Palace fans. So, let’s consider if Eze can be the next star at Selhurst Park. 

Taking the Premier League by Storm 

Thus far in the 2021-20 campaign, Transfermarkt details that Eze has three goals and a further three assists to his name in his first 28 top-flight matches. In total, this return means that the 22-year-old has contributed to 18 per cent of Palace’s goals over this period. Compared to the rest of the Eagles’ squad, Eze ranks joint-second with Christian Benteke and behind only Wilfried Zaha, who’s been involved in 34 per cent of the club’s goals.   

Eze has spent the majority of the campaign playing out of position. Although he is a capable left-sided midfielder, he established himself at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium as an attacking midfielder. Transfermarkt’s data states that the Greenwich-born midfielder has one goal and two assists from the left flank in 22 appearances. However, in the three matches where he’s played as an offensive playmaker for Palace, Eze has registered one goal and one assist. His contributions thus far have given Palace a chance of finishing the 2020-21 season in the top half of the table, and they are currently 35/1 in football betting to do so, as of April 8th. 

If Zaha Leaves, the Eagles Have Their Next Talisman 

Zaha, who grew up in Croydon, has spent the bulk of his career at Selhurst Park. However, as seems to be the case each and every year, the Ivorian is reportedly keen to depart Crystal Palace. Although Roy Hodgson’s team are under no pressure to sell, the Eagles manager stated in April 2021 that Zaha knows “where he wants to be”. Reports suggest that Arsenal will reignite their interest in the goalscoring winger in the summer transfer window. That said, Palace will likely command a fee that dwarfs the £50 million that Manchester United spent on Aaron Wan-Bissaka in 2019. 

If Zaha is to depart Selhurst Park, Palace will have the funds to replace their talisman. Although Eze will struggle to replicate the Ivorian’s goalscoring figures, the Greenwich-born talent is more than capable of stepping up and providing the much-needed creative spark. From a chance creation standpoint, Eze leads by example at Selhurst Park. As per the BBC, the 22-year-old creates 0.93 chances per game in the Premier League, the most of any Palace player. Not only that but, at 85 per cent, he also boasts the highest passing accuracy of those at the club with an assist in 2020-21. 

The London-Based Club Should Build Around Eze 

In future, Crystal Palace should recruit to get the best out of Eze. While the 22-year-old has quickly found his feet in the Premier League, he could take the Eagles to the next level with better quality around him. If Palace can add to their squad, Eze should play in a central position, which allows him to pick up the ball, dictate play, and create chances.

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Category: Local News and Sport

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