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Crystal Palace eyeing next Eberechi Eze in Pharrell Willis

Crystal Palace are reportedly keen on signing Middlesbrough youngster Pharrell Willis and the young midfielder could prove to be the next Eberechi Eze at Selhurst Park.

According to TEAMtalk, both Palace and West Ham are keen on bringing the 19-year-old to the Premier League, although Boro are working on tying the youngster down to a long-term contract at the Riverside.

Willis made his first senior appearance for the Championship club in midweek as they thrashed Blackpool 3-0, with new boss Michael Carrick clearly impressed with what the teenager has been showing in training and with the academy sides.

He said:

“Pharrell has caught the eye. That’s football. You see things as a coach. Certain things catch your eye.

“He plays with that spark, that freedom, he’s had a good attitude.”

Willis has been a regular for both the U18s and U21s at Middlesbrough in recent seasons and has one goal and two assists in the Premier League 2 so far this campaign.

He enjoyed a superb 2020/21 term, hitting eight goals for the U’18s, which clearly did enough to convince those at Middlesbrough that he was ready for Premier League 2 football.

Should Palace sign Willis?

Yes

Yes

No

No

Now that he has made the step up into the senior side, it seems only a matter of time before he starts showing his quality in the Championship, especially if Carrick continues to give him opportunities in the first team.

Should Palace win the race for the teenager, who can play on the wing and in midfield, it could be a repeat the deal that saw Eze join from QPR in the summer of 2020.

While he was already established as one of the top players in the Championship at the time, having hit 14 goals and eight assists in the season before joining, Carrick’s comments about Willis’ spark and freedom are certainly reminiscent of Eze’s style of play.

Considering the 24-year-old is now valued at €30m (£26m) by Transfermarkt and is starring in Vieira’s side this season, the French manager would surely love to have another top young talent with the potential to have the same impact as Eze in the Premier League in the future.

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Crystal Palace beat Sheffield United in their first game of 2021, but what was the score?

Therefore, Steve Parish should definitely look at bringing Willis to Selhurst Park in January before Middlesbrough can tie him down to a long-term deal.

Article title: Crystal Palace eyeing next Eberechi Eze in Pharrell Willis

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