Crystal Palace set for Eze boost as Olise nears full training return
Meanwhile, Roy Hodgson has backed Jesurun Rak-Sakyi to become the next Wilfried Zaha as he apologised for criticising the club’s youngsters
Back in action: Eberechi Eze will return to the Crystal Palace squad at Burnley
Eberechi Eze is set to make his return to the Crystal Palace squad for Saturday’s trip to Burnley.
The midfielder has not featured since September’s victory over Manchester United due to a hamstring injury but has trained in full all week.
Manager Roy Hodgson revealed on Thursday that Palace are “confident” of extending Eze’s contract beyond 2025.
Speaking about Eze’s return to fitness, Hodgson said: “He’ll be in the squad. We’ll have to discuss whether he can start or whether we’ll have to just keep him up our sleeve.”
Team-mate Michael Olise has been out since June with a more serious hamstring injury he sustained on France Under-21 duty.
“Michael is making good strides, but these sports science people are more careful with him”, Hodgson said.
“They haven’t released him to us to the same extent [as Eze], but he has taken part in parts of training and he’s looking good. I’m pretty hopeful that next week he will train fully with the group.”
Hodgson also said he believes 21-year-old Jesurun Rak-Sakyi, the Palace academy graduate who shone on loan at Charlton last season, can become the club’s next Wilfried Zaha.
“You say to Jes: ‘Come on Jes, go out there and be Wilf Zaha’ — it’s unfair, he can’t do it. But he’s getting experience and hopefully one day, with the work he does in training, Jes will be Wilf Zaha. He’s got the talent; he’s got the potential.”
Hodgson came under fire after last Friday’s 2-1 defeat by Tottenham for criticising his young substitutes Naouirou Ahamada, Matheus Franca and Rak-Sakyi, and insisting they had made his team “weaker”.
He said on Thursday: “I was wrong to even make any comments at all, really, and regret them.