Eagles set to lose Eze to England


Nigeria is set to lose Crystal Palace midfielder Eberechi Eze to England unless there is a last-minute change of heart, as he is in line for a Three Lions call-up next month.

England face Malta and North Macedonia in a European Championship qualifier in June and the Daily Mail reports Eze is back on Gareth Southgate’s radar, but faces competition from Nigeria to commit the forward’s international future.

Eze is eligible to play for Nigeria through his parents and the three-time African champions have tried severally to convince the 24-year-old to play for the Super Eagles, but the midfielder is yet to make a final decision.

The former Queen Park Rangers man has played a lead role in Palace’s excellent run under Roy Hodgson that has seen the club fight off the threat of relegation, scoring six goals in seven matches.

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His performances for the Eagles have not gone unnoticed by Southgate, who believes Eze has the qualities of a full England international.

The FA already has extensive scouting reports on the former U-21 star and were ready to hand Eze his first senior call-up in 2021, but a serious Achilles injury dashed his hopes of being selected.

Having recovered from the injury, Eze was selected in Southgate’s provisional 55-man squad for last year’s World Cup in Qatar but didn’t make the final cut.

He faces stiff competition in attacking areas, with Bukayo Saka, Jack Grealish, Phil Foden, Marcus Rashford, Raheem Sterling, Mason Mount and James Maddison all vying for places.