No choice for Eze as Nigeria seduce England under 21 … but Roy Hodgson believes the Crystal Palace winger will soon be ready to play for Gareth Southgate’s senior team
- Eberechi Eze scored the winner in Crystal Palace’s 1-0 victory over the Wolves
- The Palace winger has now scored three striking goals for the Eagles
- The 22-year-old is eligible to play international football for England and Nigeria
- Ex-Three Lions boss Roy Hodgson claims Eze is good enough to play for England
Sooner or later, Eberechi Eze will have to make a decision. The strain that reminds Roy Hodgson of his attempts to convince Jack Grealish to bring England over the Republic of Ireland.
With each quality exhibition at the highest level, the theme of Eze’s international future becomes bigger.
Eze is qualified for England, but also for Nigeria, which reached out to the 22-year-old and whose officials are in contact with the starlet Crystal Palace almost every week.
Eberechi Eze (right) scored the winner in Crystal Palace’s 1-0 win over the Wolves on Saturday
Eze defeated Leander Dendoncker before scoring his third striking Palace goal this season
For the moment and publicly, Eze sidestepped the issue as smoothly as he dodged Leander Dendoncker before scoring his third eye-catching Palace goal in beating the Wolves.
Currently in the English U21 team, that’s his focus. But Nigeria’s desire to call him is growing and it’s a subject former English boss Hodgson knows everything about.
He said: “Like Jack Grealish before him, whom I wanted to convince, was good enough to play for England and give that a chance, I would certainly say the same to Eberechi Eze right now.”
Roy Hodgson (left) believes Eze (center) is more than good enough to play for England
Ex-Three Lions boss Hodgson convinced Jack Grealish (above) to pick England against Ireland
While Nigeria are poised to accelerate players it desires for their senior team, England have fewer guarantees. Grealish made his decision in 2015 but only made his debut last year.
Hodgson said, “Is Eze ready right now? I wouldn’t believe that. There are so many players in his position and I would be brave to suggest that he step in front of them.
‘I hope he keeps his position (with the U21s), continues to improve and stays in line with Gareth Southgate and the English coaches. I’m more than happy with his progress and the difference he’s making for our team. ‘
Eze is qualified for both England and Nigeria, the latter being in contact with his team every week
Hodgson’s luck was in stark contrast to the mood at Wolves. After eight league games without a win, the rumble of dissatisfaction gets louder.
Manager Nuno Espirito Santo and Captain Conor Coady painted a bleak picture – “We are in a really bad place,” he said – while Nelson Semedo warned: “We have to watch the table. We are only nine points away from third from bottom. ‘
MATCHING FACTS AND REVIEWS
CRYSTAL PALACE (4-4-2): Guaita 7, Clyne 7.5 (Ward 85, 6), Dann 7, Kouyate 7, Van Aanholt 6.5; Eze 7, Milivojevic 6, McCarthy 6 (Riedewald 46, 6), Zaha 6.5; Ayew 6.5, Batshuayi 6 (Townsend 79, 6).
Unused subs: Butland, Mateta, Benteke, Cahill, Mitchell, Kelly,
Goal scorers: Eze 60
Manager: Roy Hodgson 6
WOLVES (3-4-3): Patricio 6, Boly 6, Coady 7, Kilman 7; Hoever 7 (Traore 63, 6), Dendoncker 6.5, Moutinho 5.5 (Silva 78, 6), Semedo 6; Podence 6 (Vitinha 68, 6), Jose 6, Neto 7.
Unused subs: Ruddy, Neves, Gibbs-White, Otasowie, Lonwijk, Bueno
Booked: Kilman, Coady
Manager: Nuno Espirito Santo
referee: Simon Hooper 7
Man of the game: Eze