Crystal Palace: 'Challenge' for Vieira involving £70.2m trio

Crystal Palace trio Eberechi Eze, Wilfried Zaha and Michael Olise could be ‘so brilliant to watch’ if they’re selected in the same starting lineup, according to journalist Tom Barclay.

Eze has been unable to build on his impressive maiden campaign in the Premier League this term due to injuries and a lack of form, while Zaha and Olise have shone throughout.

What is the latest news involving Eze?

Eze arrived at Palace from Queens Park Rangers last summer in a deal that could rise to £20 million, and he made a big impression under the tutelage of former manager Roy Hodgson.

In 34 top-flight outings throughout 2020/21, the creative talent registered four goals and six assists in a side that was struggling for cutting edge in the final third of the pitch.

His outstanding displays for the Eagles caught the eye of England manager Gareth Southgate, who had named Eze – who is valued at £18m by Transfermarkt – in his provisional squad for Euro 2020 before disaster struck.

The youngster is believed to have returned to the dressing room after injuring his Achilles in training to find a message from the Football Association telling him that he was in the senior squad for the first time.

That setback ruled Eze out of action until 27 November, but he’s struggled to find his best form since and has had to settle for cameo appearances off the bench and opportunities in the FA Cup.

What has Barclay said about Eze?

Meanwhile, Zaha – who is valued at £36m – has racked up 12 goal contributions under Patrick Vieira, while Olise – who is valued at £16.2m – has notched four goals and eight assists in 26 appearances across all competitions this season.

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And Barclay believes the in-form duo could form a formidable partnership with Eze next term if he can get back to his best.

He told GiveMeSport: “Next season, when I think Gallagher will go back to Chelsea, I think the challenge to Vieira would be to try and get Zaha, Eze and Olise playing in a three behind a striker.

And in theory, that could be so good; it could be so brilliant to watch, couldn’t it. I mean, they’re all fantastic footballers who make things happen, they’re all players that get fans off their seats, but it’s not as simple as that. You have to have tactical nous, and there’s more to it than that.”

How has Eze been performing?

Eze is yet to find the back of the net or provide a single assist in his 496 minutes of action across all competitions so far this season.

However, his last two outings in the FA Cup against League Two outfit Hartlepool United and Premier League opposition Everton have given reasons to be hopeful.

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As per SofaScore, Eze won 12 duels, made five tackles, pulled off four successful dribbles and had an average passing accuracy of 89.5% across the two encounters.

The trio of Olise, Zaha and Eze lined up alongside each other for the first time against the Toffees last time out and showcased their chemistry in a convincing 4-0 victory.

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