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I wouldn't go near Eberechi Eze in training – he suddenly became a different animal

Crystal Palace forward Eberechi Eze training with England
-Credit: (Image: Greig Cowie/Sportsphoto/Allstar via Getty Images)


Eberechi Eze will hope to prove himself to Gareth Southgate and secure his place in the final England squad for Euro 2024.

One of his former team-mates, Joel Lynch, reckons the Crystal Palace forward could easily win over the England boss with his performances at St Geroge’s Park. The Three Lions met up for the first time on Wednesday after Southgate named his 33-man group earlier this month.

With seven players set to leave the group before flying out to Germany, Eze will want to keep his seat on the plane.

Representing England at a major tournament would be a true career highlight, but he has not had a straightforward route to the top. In 2017, QPR sent him out on loan to League Two side Wycombe Wanderers to test him, and he returned as the player who would go on to terrorise Premier League defences.

Recalling Eze’s sudden transformation, former QPR team-mate Lynch told BBC Sport: "He was a brilliant player before he went but when he came back he was just a different animal. It was just mad. I don't know what happened to him but when he came back he was unbelievable, just a completely different player.

"Every bit of his game was better. He literally came back our best player. He was miles above the rest really. The way he carries himself is perfect. If any young lad coming through the game wants to look at a player it would be him, he's the prime example of how to be a professional. He's a class act."

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Eze finished this season with a flourish, recording nine goal contributions in 12 Premier League games under new Palace manager Oliver Glasner. Hitting form at the right time, the 25-year-old could prove to be a nightmare opponent for his England team-mates in training as he looks to add to his two caps for Southgate’s side.

Reliving his experiences from QPR training, Lynch added: "I just wouldn't go near him," he adds. "He'd just do some madness and try and nutmeg me.

"Before the start of games, where everyone is giving each other high fives, I'd go up to him and say, 'Mate, score a couple now so we can all go home. Just win us the game please'.

"He was that good. I actually thought at the time he could literally just win us the game. The only time I watch the Premier League now is to watch him play."