Crystal Palace crushed West Bromwich Albion in a comfortable 5-1 victory at the Hawthorns as the Eagles took advantage of Matheus Pereira’s dismissal to claim their first points in their last three games.
Christian Benteke and Wilfried Zaha were restored to the starting line-up and they marked their respective returns to action with two goals apiece as Roy Hodgson’s side hammered the Baggies to score five goals away from Selhurst Park for the first time in the Premier League.
Whilst Zaha has matured into the talisman that Palace hope to have for some time, having bagged a brace against West Brom after recoving from coronavirus which kept him out of action for two weeks, you can’t help but feel like there is a new young buck waiting in the wings to steal his spotlight.
It’s fair to say that Palace have unearthed some unblemished gems over the years – the likes of Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Victor Moses immediately spring to mind – and Eberechi Eze could find himself in the same esteemed company before too long.
The England U21 international – who has earned two caps for the national team development squad – has made 11 appearances for Palace in all competitions so far this season, whilst he has scored one goal and supplied two assists, via Transfermarkt.
But how did he end up at Selhurst Park?
Well, after an impressive season with Queens Park Rangers in which he bagged 14 times in the Championship, Hodgson and Palace chairman Steve Parish moved to bring him to the south London club in the summer.
Parish parted ways with £16m up front which could rise to £20m with performance-related bonuses, and Eze became a Palace player – and it’s safe to say that it has turned out to be a very good move for all parties involved, as he currently earns wages worth £30,000-per-week.
Zaha has heaped praise on his young teammate, as he described him as a “quality” player after he helped him bag a brace against West Brom. Speaking after the game, the Ivory Coast international couldn’t contain his excitement, as he believes they have both started to form a promising partnership, which suggests that he has been a pretty good value for money.
“[Eze] is a quality player, he literally glides through people,” he told the club website.
“It’s nice [having] someone on your wavelength, that’s a tricky player as well because I know half of the stuff he’s going to do, so I just position myself to get the ball. It’s been a joy.”
In 11 games in the Premier League, the 22-year-old has bagged once and provided two assists so far this season, whilst he is averaging 1 shot and 1.9 dribbles per game, via WhoScored, whilst he has also been fouled 2.6 times on average – second only to Zaha, who is fouled at least three times on average per game.
Therefore, it’s fair to say that Hodgson and Parish can consider the signing of Eze as a shrewd bit of business, as his market value will surely skyrocket if he can maintain his current run of form.
AND in other news, Crystal Palace star Wilfried Zaha was Roy Hodgson’s hero vs West Brom…