Dan Cook has been speaking on the HLTCO podcast about Eberechi Eze and his worries for when he returns.
Eze was signed from QPR last season after an impressive final campaign in west London, and he certainly carried that form into his debut Premier League campaign with the Eagles, although he was cruelly ruled out early with a serious injury that he’s still recovering from.
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The 23-year old has been out since May this year, but the Eagles have certainly not missed him this campaign, with players such as Conor Gallagher and Odsonne Edouard making an instant impact at Selhurst Park – and with Michael Olise yet to start in the league, Eze could find it difficult to regain his starting spot when he does return.
Cook highlighted the worry he has for Eze for when he returns.
“There is some positive news in relation to the injury progress of Ebere Eze. He is someone that, of course, has been out since the end of last season with a pretty severe injury, and the rehab schedule that he’s been going through has been a pretty involved one.
“He’s a player that I genuinely have worries for in terms of how he’s going to come back into the Crystal Palace first team.
“Because an injury of the sort that he sustained can lead to some long-term problems in terms of freedom of movement and the pace that he would have otherwise had before the injury, but the hope is that the rehabilitation has gone well.”
TIF Thoughts on Eze…
Last season was a stark contrast to what Palace fans are seeing this season as they managed to score just 41 goals and had an expected goals (xG) value of 32.4, suggesting they were certainly overperforming. However, this season, they are playing on the front foot and have already netted six goals, and their xG (6.4) is now more in line with the level of their performances.
Eze was a sparkling light for the Eagles under Roy Hodgson, scoring four times and teeing up his teammates six times in the league and despite the stats suggesting Palace are now looking like a more attacking side, adding Eze into the mix could benefit them further if he can pick up where he left off pre-injury, when was registering the most goal-creating actions per 90 minutes at the club as well as progressing the ball forward the most (as per FBRef).
His ability and willingness to drive forward and get his team further up the pitch should fit in perfectly at Selhurst Park under Patrick Vieira, who has brought about an attacking and more exciting style of play that is yielding a lot of chances, as they’ve registered the fifth-most shots on target in the league.