Super Eagles target talks tough after Premier League debt

Super Eagles target Eberechi Eze says he is ready to provide Crystal Palace’s spark after making his Premier League debut in the win over Southampton on Saturday .

The Nigerian-born England U21s midfielder – who was introduced from the bench at Selhurst Park to make his first appearance in the top flight – is the most expensive signing Palace have made during Roy Hodgson’s tenure and has been brought in to add some creativity and flair to last season’s second lowest goalscorers.

At 22 it is some task, but one Eze is relishing.

“Yeah of course, it is a great privilege to be at a club like this and be at such a level and be in such a team,” he said when asked if the pressure was something he would enjoy. “There are some really good players here. It is a great platform to show what I can do and prove myself in the big leagues.

“The intensity is obviously a bit higher and you can tell that people think a lot quicker. It was more about adapting to that and doing my best to cope.”

Eze is quite the creative talent on the ball, and showed as much when his late introduction lifted Palace for a late flurry of chances after Wilfried Zaha’s first half goal had given them a one goal lead.

Hodgson, though, likes his charges to be disciplined and hardworking off the ball – something the midfielder has been working on since his time at QPR.

“I’m expecting him to kick on even further from the run of the seasons he has had with QPR,” said Hodgson. “He’s been a real star in the Championship – everyone has recognised this, and we were not the only that looked at him and thought, this young man is going to be a very good player and we would like to sign him, for our team.

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“I’m expecting him to work hard and continue to progresses career and show the same level of ability in the Premier League that he has shown in the Championship.

“He’s a confident young man, because he does have a lot of ability. And I thought that was pretty obvious today even in that 15 minutes. It was a tough ask to come on then. If he had made a bad mistake which would have cost us an equalising goal, people would have pointed that out. He was very diligent in his defensive work, but he knows and I know that if he is going to be able to produce the level of diligence and understanding that people like Andros and Jeff [Schlupp] have done after three years work with us, we have got to do some work with him as well.”

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