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Fans want Crystal Palace’s Eze, Olise to solve Eagles’ midfield problem

Many Nigerian fans have called on Super Eagles coach, Jose Peseiro, to bring the duo of Eberechi Eze and Michael Olise, both of Nigerian descent, into the team quickly to solve the midfield problem.

The fans made the request after watching Crystal Palace stars, Eberechi Eze and Michael Olise, both of Nigerian descent, on Easter Sunday, with their remarkable display, which saw the club come from behind to blow off Leeds United 5-1,

The fans also want the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to help the coach in the task of convincing the duo to play for their fatherland.

While Olise set up three of the four second-half goals, Eze scored a fantastic 55th-minute goal, which lifted Palace up into 12th position.

With his pace, energy and dribbling skills, the fans feel Eze has the makings of a star in the mold of Liberia’s George Weah, Austin Jay-Jay Okocha, Nwankwo Kanu, Samuel Eto’o and Didier Drogba, if he is brought into the Super Eagles’ midfield.

Also, the fans, who spoke during a radio programme monitored in Lagos, feel that Olise, who created EPL record after a hat-trick of assists in the Easter Sunday match against Leeds United, will be a great asset for Nigeria.

Since the start of the season, only Arsenal winger, Bukayo Saka (17) has assisted more goals than Olise in the Premier League when it comes to players aged 21 or younger.

At 21 years and 118 days on Sunday, Olise, who is in the radar of the NFF, became the youngest player in Premier League history to assist three goals from open play in a single game, according to the statisticians at Opta.

Eberechi Eze of Crystal Palace
Eberechi Eze of Crystal Palace runs with the ball during a Premier League match against Manchester United at Old Trafford . Photo by AFP

Crystal Palace made 34 successful dribbles against Leeds on Sunday, the most by a team in a Premier League match on record (since 2003-2004), with Eze registering a game-high nine take-ons, while Olise accounted for six.

During the tenure of former NFF President, Amaju Pinnick, he was said to have approached Eze around 2017 to convince him to play for the Super Eagles.

Eze was said to have declared himself available for an international friendly against Burkina Faso in London, but the game failed to hold. Since then, the creative midfielder has been looking forward to playing for the Three Lions of England at international level.

Before the Easter Sunday cracker against Leeds, Manchester City manager, Pep Guardiola, had hailed the duo of Olise and Eze, for their remarkable performances against the Premier League champions earlier in the season.

The 52-year-old Spanish tactician was full of praises for the Palace duo, who tormented Man City’s defence, but were unlucky not to score in that tense encounter.

Erling Haaland scored the only goal from the penalty spot in the 78th minute to hand City the 1-0 win.

To the fans, the task of bringing the duo of Eze and Olise to the Super Eagles now lies on both Peseiro and the leadership of the NFF.

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