Much like Wilfried Zaha before him, Eberechi Eze has been nothing short of a revelation for Crystal Palace since he first stepped foot inside Selhurst Park, especially in recent months.
When Steve Parish agreed to pay Queens Park Rangers £16m for his services in the summer, some Palace fans couldn’t quite believe their luck, none more so than journalist Taylor Rockwell, who told the Total Soccer Show that he is a “very exciting” talent.
As of right now, Roy Hodgson’s side find themselves in 13th place in the Premier League, level on points with Southampton and two behind Arsenal at the halfway point of the campaign.
Now, granted his numbers are still quite small in comparison to the goal-scoring exploits of Zaha, but it’s fair to say that he offers so much more than that.
Other than Zaha, Palace have long lacked a creative influence capable of single-handedly changing the game on his own arguably ever since Victor Moses departed SE25.
While some wingers will bide their time and wait for an opportunity, Eze is prepared to bring the ball forward, as evidenced by his two dribbles per 90 in the Premier League during his time with Palace this season thus far, that the best of all his teammates, as per WhoScored.
And it’s not just his dribbling that has caught the eye. His role as a set-piece specialist means he boasts a WhoScored strength of ‘taking set-pieces’ to go with his dribbling and passing ability. The 22-year-old memorably scored directly from a free-kick against Leeds United to mark his first goal for the club at Selhurst Park.
His playing style has earned its fair share of plaudits with recent praise coming from Liverpool and Tottenham defender Jamie Redknapp, who told Sky Sports (via The Daily Mail): “Eze has been so influential though I actually want to see more of him. (He’s) Very impressive he’s a star man. When he’s on the ball he’s so exciting to watch.”
Palace have clearly hit the jackpot as they’ve got another playmaker for at least the next couple of years, providing that they don’t receive an offer they can’t refuse in the meantime, of course.
Now valued at €30m (£26m) by CIES Football Observatory, there’s no doubting the fact the Eagles have struck gold with the England U21 international.