Crystal Palace news: Patrick Vieira receives important boost over £18m Eagles star

Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira giving instructions on the touchline

Crystal Palace attacker Eberechi Eze could be set to return from injury sooner than first anticipated, according to journalist Tom Barclay.

The 23-year-old has been out of action since May with an Achilles injury that he suffered in training.

What's the latest news on Eze?

Eze joined Palace in August 2020, and made a positive impression in his maiden campaign at the club, registering 10 goal involvements in the Premier League.

Having been a shining light at Selhurst Park, Eze was reportedly in the mix for a place in Gareth Southgate's England squad for the Euros in the summer, before he picked up a serious injury in training ahead of the penultimate game of the season.

He was originally expected to be sidelined for at least six months, and it was unclear whether he would play again in 2021, but Barclay has now offered a positive update on the forward's fitness.

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What did Barclay say about Eze?

Barclay has suggested that Eze's return may not be too far away. However, he has indicated that the club ought to be cautious with the player due to the significance of the injury that he is coming back from.

Speaking to GIVEMESPORT about Eze, who is valued at £18m by Transfermarkt, Barclay said: “I’m told there is a good chance that there’s a good chance actually that he’s ahead of schedule on his return. Achilles injuries are bad injuries, they can keep you out for a long time and they can affect you going forward.”

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Where could Eze fit back into the Palace team?

The Eagles boosted their attacking options over the summer, signing Odsonne Edouard and Michael Olise, while also bringing in Conor Gallagher on loan from Chelsea.

Edouard looks to have made the lone striker role his own, and Gallagher has been a standout performer, bagging a brace against West Ham at the end of August from his role as the side's No. 10.

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Wilfried Zaha is a guaranteed starter on the left wing, meaning that when Eze does come back into the fold, he could be battling with Olise and Jordan Ayew for the right-wing berth.

Alternatively, Patrick Vieira could opt to drop Gallagher into a slightly deeper role, allowing Eze to operate as an attacking midfielder, arguably his best position, where he can influence proceedings from a central area in the final third of the pitch. 

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