Dan Cook has been speaking on the HLTCO podcast about how Patrick Vieira could try and fit Eberechi Eze into the Crystal Palace first team.
Palace have been without one of their star attackers for the majority of this season, with Eze recovering from an injury that was picked up during the back-end of last season and this has meant he’s still yet to start a match under Vieira.
Could Crystal Palace be relegated?
Eze was a breakout star last season with the Eagles as he scored four times and registered six assists during his debut Premier League campaign, but after being named on the bench for the previous four matches, the attacker will surely be itching to get some minutes from the start.
Cook has been speaking about some ways to fit Eze into the starting lineup and who could drop out.
He said: “There’s been plenty of speculation about how exactly [Vieira] will look to use Ebere Eze, because I suppose you’d call him an archetypal number 10 – someone that sits there behind the frontman and looks to pull strings. Whether or not we can accommodate a player like that in the system that we currently have is a bone of contention.
“There was some chatter about potentially deploying Ebere Eze in a more deep-lying role. I’m not sure that’s necessarily going to get the best out of him.
“But of course, Wilfried Zaha hasn’t been fantastic in recent weeks, it has to be said, and there have been a couple of murmurs about potentially dropping him from the starting XI – I can’t see that would happen, to be honest with you.
“I think he’s that much of a difference-maker and someone that can turn it on at the drop of a hat, really.”
TIF Thoughts on Eze replacing Zaha…
It would be a sensational and bold move from Vieira to drop Zaha, who has been a regular at Selhurst Park pretty much every single season that he’s been with the club and is also the club’s all-time top scorer in the Premier League, so could be considered a legend by some fans.
To bring in Eze, who has just one good season under his belt, for Zaha, who the club might be trying to convince to sign a new contract, would certainly shake things up at Palace and realistically will never happen – until Zaha jets off to the Africa Cup of Nations, that is.
Though if Palace do want to get the best out of Eze, you can see the logic in how Zaha’s drop in form could force Vieira into a tricky decision, whether that involves putting the Ivorian on the bench or changing his system entirely.