Crystal Palace will be without Eberechi Eze for at least several months after the attacking midfielder suffered a serious Achilles injury in training.
The 22-year-old has enjoyed a fine first season with the Eagles after arriving from Queens Park Rangers for £16m last summer, bagging four goals and providing six assists in 34 Premier League appearances.
Eze’s is expected to have a consultation with a specialist over the coming days, and if a rupture is detected, then the youngster is likely to face up to eight months on the sidelines.
Palace boss Roy Hodgson is likely to be gutted by the news, which means he will be without one of his best and most entertaining assets for his final home game in charge of the capital club.
In a press conference on Tuesday (via Football.London), Hodgson addressed the former England Under-21 international’s issue but stated he was hopeful that Eze could play against Arsenal this evening.
“We’ve got a couple of players that we need to assess for the game tomorrow,” said the 73-year-old.
“That’s going to be Scott Dann and Eberechi Eze. We’re going to have to assess them before the game. I’m hopeful that they’ll make it, but we’ll have to wait and see.”
However, The Athletic confirmed that the diagnosis turned out to be much worse than first feared, and it’s a bitter blow for the south London outfit and as Dominic Fifield put it, a “cruel” injury for the player.
Palace are set to appoint a new manager in the near future following Hodgson’s imminent departure, and it could also affect the future of other first-team stars.
The Eagles have multiple players approaching the end of their contracts over the summer, and an exit has long been muted for key man Wilfried Zaha, but chairman Steve Parish may be altering some of his previous plans following this awful news.
It means Hodgson will have to cope without Eze when the Gunners arrive at Selhurst Park this evening in what should be an entertaining London derby and the current Palace manager will be gutted to be ending his time at the club without one of his star men on the pitch, but his loss may well be greater felt by whoever succeeds the former England boss.