Dan Cook has been speaking on the HLTCO podcast about how great it will be when Eberechi Eze returns to the Crystal Palace side.
The Palace attacker has been sidelined since the back-end of last season when he picked up a serious Achilles injury, although he is now back in some form of training, which will give the team and fans a boost ahead of his potential return.
Will Eze start for Palace when he returns?
Despite his scintillating form last campaign, when he netted five goals and registered six assists during his debut season, he may have a battle on his hands for an immediate return to the starting lineup, as Patrick Vieira is even currently benching Michael Olise, who has had a promising start to his Eagles career capped by netting in last weekend’s draw against Leicester City.
Given how poor Jordan Ayew has been in front of goal, there could yet be further opportunities for the England-born Frenchman to impress.
Nevertheless, Cook has spoken about how great it will be to get Eze back in the starting lineup.
“If we can put [injuries] to one side and hopefully welcome Ebere Eze back sort of late November/early December, then it would really give us all a boost as fans, as players, as coaches – he is that transformative figure.
“As I’ve mentioned on podcasts already this week, if we can get a situation in which [James] McArthur and Conor Gallagher are sitting at the base of the midfield; [Wilfried] Zaha, Olise, Eze and [Odsonne] Edouard are playing in the attacking side of things, it really to me is something that’s incredibly exciting and hopefully, we get to see it come to fruition before the turn of the year.”
TIF Thoughts on Eze…
As Cook mentioned, a midfield of James McArthur and Conor Gallagher being led by Eze going forward would certainly be something to get excited about given how well the former two have worked together defensively, winning the second-highest amount of tackles and racking up the most pressures on the ball in the side (FBRef).
Whereas last season, Palace’s squad had the highest average age in the Premier League, it now seems a million miles away from that as Vieira has brought in and integrated young players who are hungry to play and have a lot to prove.
They’re going about it the right way, as at the back, Palace have kept two clean sheets and conceded 11 goals – although six of those were against Manchester City and Liverpool combined, with Gallagher alone netting twice and registering one assist in the league thus far.
So it is perfectly reasonable for Cook to look forward to a fully fit Palace side taking to the field in the weeks and months to come.