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Manchester United loan move for Van De Beek would not have hindered Palace’s Eze – South London News

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Crystal Palace boss Patrick Vieira did not believe that signing Donny van De Beek on loan from Manchester United would have hindered Eberechi Eze’s game time.

The Greenwich-born Eze has begun to feature more under Vieira since he returned to first-team action after suffering an Achilles injury in May 2021.

The 23-year-old scored four goals and assisted six in his debut Premier League campaign under Roy Hodgson following his £18million move from QPR.

Eze was set to be included in Gareth Southgate’s 33-man provisional squad for Euro 2020 before the serious injury, which he picked up in training, sidelined him.

Van De Beek signed on loan for Frank Lampard’s Everton for the rest of the season on deadline day with Palace also chasing the Dutch midfielder.

“No, we didn’t take that into consideration,” said Vieira when asked whether Van De Beek’s signing would have hindered Eze’s game time and his return from injury.

“What is important for us is to try to improve the squad.

“I don’t want to talk about specific names because there are so many around that have been linked to our football club.

“But, for us, we are happy with Eze. We always said that when you have been out of the game for seven months, it was always going to take time for him to get to his best.

“We have worked well, we have worked hard with him, and we will give him time to get to where we know he can be.

“We always wanted to improve the squad. We didn’t find that player, but I strongly believe that we have the players to achieve what we want to do this season.”

After a handful of substitute appearances, Eze started the 2-1 win against Millwall in the third round of the FA Cup and the 1-1 Premier League draw with Brighton since he returned to the first team.

Eze is expected to be involved in tomorrow’s FA Cup fourthround tie against League Two side Hartlepool United.

Speaking on whether he believed Eze was slowly finding his route back into football, Vieira said: “Every single player, Eze, or anybody else, will want to play.

“They think they’re ready to play – they want to be on the field and want [game] time.

“This is something as a manager that I will have to deal with and manage. At the same time, I have to put a team on the field that I believe is strong enough to perform and to win football matches.

“This is what people expect me to do – to play a team that allows us to win football matches.

“Sometimes, yes, this is my responsibility to make some tough and difficult decisions that not everybody will be please with. But what I say to the players is: ‘Always make it difficult for me’.”

PICTURE: KEITH GILLARD

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