Eagles coach wants England boss Southgate to beat Nigeria to 7-goal Premier League star
Crystal Palace coach Roy Hodgson has urged England manager Gareth Southgate to beat Nigeria to the international allegiance of midfield maestro Eberechi Eze.
The 24-year-old attacking midfielder, who qualifies to represent both Nigeria and England, has been in fine form for Palace since Hodgson took over. He has seven goals and three assists in 31 Premier League games this season, including a brace in the defeat of Southampton at the weekend.
Eze was set to be part of England’s provisional 33-man squad for Euro 2020, but he suffered an Achilles injury.
Now that he is back to his best, he is targeting a call-up for Euro 2024 next summer.
However, Eze remains a target of the Nigeria Football Federation.
The Super Eagles lack good options in the attacking midfield role, and Eze would be a perfect fit. The former QPR ace could be the missing piece for Nigeria as they challenge for honours at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations in Ivory Coast next year.
Eze, though, is more inclined toward the Three Lions, and Palace manager Hodgson believes Southgate should keep an eye on him.
What was said?
According to the Standard, when asked about Eze’s England prospects, Hodgson responded, “Yes, why not?”
He also added, “The people watching for Gareth Southgate at the moment will be making their assessments, and they don’t need any help or advice from me on that subject.
“But if you’re talking about a player’s ambition, young as he is, a massive possibility to keep improving and keep doing well with every Premier League game he plays.”
Hodgson believes that Eze’s ambition should be to play for England and produce more performances like the ones he has been delivering for Palace. He hopes that Southgate and his assistant Steve Holland will watch Eze and come to the same conclusion that he is a player who can help the national team.
Despite Eze showing little desire to play for Nigeria, the Super Eagles may still try to persuade him to represent them. Eze’s decision will ultimately depend on where he feels he can best showcase his talent and make a significant impact.
Crystal Palace has been enjoying a resurgence under Hodgson, and Eze’s performances have played a crucial role in their climb up the table.
The Eagles currently sit 12th in the Premier League standings and are close to safety from relegation with seven games left to play.
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