England Squad Gatecrashers, Part 3: Eberechi Eze

England Squad Gatecrashers, Part 3: Eberechi Eze

By Sam McGuire

Never before has an England manager had such a talented pool of players at their disposal. To say the squad depth is unbelievable would be an understatement. But while Southgate is the envy of a lot of managers across Europe, he’s also in a bit of an unenviable position. Because no matter what decision he makes, unless the Three Lions go on to win the tournament, he’s going to have made the wrong one. 

When there is that much talent available to you, you are expected to win. This is pressure few other managers will have ever experienced. Southgate will have a select few players who are dead certs for the squad but those who have been in fine form during the final few months of the 2023/24 campaign could well gatecrash the 26-man squad. 

In this series, we’re going to look at five players who might have played their way into the thinking of the England boss. We’ve already made the case for Harvey Elliott and looked at the merits of including Tyrick Mitchell in the squad. Now we’re going to focus on Mitchell’s club teammate, Eberechi Eze. 

The 25-year-old has once again found his groove since the turn of the year after a difficult start to the campaign. Eze appeared in just 14 of the opening 20 matches for Crystal Palace, making 10 starts. He scored three goals and assisted on one occasion. In 2024, the versatile forward has six goals and two assists in 12 starts. 

Across the 2023/24 Premier League season, Eze has racked up 12 goal involvements in 1,976 minutes. For context, last season, his most productive one in the Premier League, saw him finish with 14 goal involvements in 2,642 minutes. A goal involvement every 188 minutes compared to his average this season, a goal or an assist every 164 minutes. Had he been fit for more games, he definitely would have surpassed his haul from last year. 

The two-cap international has really stepped it up in his last five appearances for the Eagles, though. He has an average FotMob rating of 8.1 in these games. 

During this run, the two-cap England international, who can play anywhere across the attack, scored the winner against Liverpool, finished with two goal involvements against West Ham United and found the back of the net in the recent win over Wolves. 

Eze has been influential in this upturn of form for Palace. Oliver Glasner’s side have won five of their last six matches. The only match they failed to pick up maximum points in was the game Eze wasn’t involved in, and that can’t be a coincidence. 

The Palace No.10 is in form and he’s versatile. He can, comfortably, play on either flank as well as centrally. Eze is a reliable goal threat, with an Expected Goals per 90 average of 0.41 this season. His Non-Penalty xG per 90 if 0.37 and this puts him in the 82nd percentile across all those playing as an attacking midfielder. He’s also in the 79th percentile for Expected Assists per 90 (0.25) while being in the 80th percentile for chances created (2.41 per 90). The former QPR attacker also ranks in the 89th percentile for successful dribbles (3.1 per 90),  the 76th percentile for fouls won (2.09 per 90) and the 82nd percentile for duels won (7.15 per 90).

What you have is a player who can score, create, beat an opponent and he’s highly combative. He’s what Jack Grealish is supposed to be but with more end product. If Southgate wants someone off of the bench who can potentially change the momentum of  the game or give England some safe possession in the final third, Eze has to be in with a shot of making the squad. 

(Cover image from IMAGO)

You can follow every game from Euro 2024 live with FotMob — featuring xG, deep stats coverage, and player ratings. Download the free app here.


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