Crystal Palace news: £18m Selhurst Park star compared to 6 ft 3 England international

Crystal Palace boss Patrick Vieira giving instructions

Journalist Tom Barclay has compared Crystal Palace forward Eberechi Eze's injury to the one that was suffered by former Eagles midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek in 2019.

Loftus-Cheek spent a season on loan at Selhurst Park in 2017/18, and forced his way into the England squad that term, before picking up a serious injury the following year.

What happened to Eze and Loftus-Cheek?

Eze, who is valued at £18m by Transfermarkt, enjoyed a promising debut season at Palace last year, registering 10 goal involvements in the top-flight. Disaster struck in May, though, when he ruptured his Achilles tendon in training.

His fellow countryman, Loftus-Cheek has been through a similar experience. Having shone at Palace, the 10-cap international returned to Chelsea and featured in 24 league matches under Maurizio Sarri.

Just as he seemed to be establishing himself as a first-team regular, he also ruptured his Achilles, and ended up spending almost a year on the sidelines.

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What has Barclay said about Eze and Loftus-Cheek?

Loftus-Cheek has struggled to cement his place in Chelsea's team since returning from injury, and Barclay feels that Palace will need to be careful with Eze to make sure that he is not rushed back, as this could harm him in the long run.

The 23-year-old could be back in action next month, but Barclay has claimed that Palace may want to be cautious with him, to give him the best chance of achieving his potential down the line.

He told GIVEMESPORT: “Just look at Ruben Loftus-Cheek, how much it’s knocked his career for quite a long time. So, I guess they’ll give him time.”

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Should Palace take their time with Eze?

The attacking midfielder looks to be a fine prospect, and it seems likely that fans will be desperate to see Eze back in the team as soon as possible.

Yet Loftus-Cheek's issues over the last couple of years highlight how it can take time for a player to fully recover from such a significant setback. The 6 foot 3 star has begun to get more game time in recent weeks at Stamford Bridge, but it has been a long, hard road back to the top.

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Of course, Loftus-Cheek was out for a year, while Eze could return within six months, suggesting that his injury was not as serious, but Achilles problems should still not be taken lightly.

Eze cannot be expected to come straight back in and hit the ground running, as he will need to gain confidence in his body once again, so it would make sense for Patrick Vieira to use him sparingly at first, especially considering he has some fine alternatives in attacking positions such as Wilfried Zaha, Conor Gallagher and Michael Olise. 

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