Crystal Palace boss gives verdict on first outing for Eberechi Eze – and why he came off against Charlton Athletic

BY SAM SMITH

Eberechi Eze was substituted at half-time as a precaution in Crystal Palace’s friendly with South London neighbours Charlton Athletic after the midfielder “felt his groin”, according to Roy Hodgson.

The new signing made his first appearance in an Eagles shirt and impressed during a 45-minute cameo in the 3-0 victory.

However, he pulled up late in the first half and was replaced by Jeffrey Schlupp at the interval.

Palace boss Hodgson said the 22-year-old was withdrawn as a precaution. Eze will now link up with the England U21 squad, who face Kosovo on Friday and Austria four days before the Premier League season commences on September 12.

“Unfortunately, he felt his groin at half-time but he does not think it’s too serious and neither does the doctor,” Hodgson told Palace TV.

“But with those things you never know, so it was caution on our side that meant we took him off the field of play. The last thing I want is him now going away with England and getting injured.

“It felt like he had been with us a lot longer than one day. For one day’s training, his understanding of the position was very good.

It was a very promising debut and I don’t think he did too much wrong. Like the other forwards, he got in for plenty of goal chances and had a few shots at goal. We’re looking forward to working with him.”

Midfielder James McCarthy missed the game against the Addicks due to a calf injury that he suffered in Palace’s previous friendly against Oxford United.

The former Everton man will report for duty with the Republic of Ireland where his fitness will be assessed, but Hodgson does not think the 29-year-old will play for his country.

“It was a nasty bang that he took on the outside of his calf. He hadn’t really recovered for today’s game. He has to go and report to Ireland because they want to have a look at him as well,” the 73-year-old said.

“I’m not certain he’ll be fit even to play for them. He’ll need more time because it was such a bad bruise, such a bad haematoma, that he got on his calf that he’ll be out for a little more time. We won’t know until next week until he’s reported to Ireland and the two doctors have spoken.”

PHOTO BY PAUL EDWARDS


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