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Super Eagles miss out on Eberechi Eze days after Folarin Balogun snub

Super Eagles miss out on Eberechi Eze days after Folarin Balogun snub

Few days after missing out on drafting former Arsenal Youth international to Nigeria’s senior men national football team, the Super Eagles, the country has once again missed out on talented Crystal Palace midfielder Eberechi Eze after he was called up to England’s 25-man squad.

The Crystal Palace midfielder was handed his first call-up to the England’s senior men’s national team for next month’s Euro 2024 qualifiers against Malta and North Macedonia on the back of his impressive performance for the Eagles, finding the back of the net six times in his last eight league appearances while providing one assist.

Eze has been a long time target for the Eagles and had been courted by the Nigeria Football Federation through its former president Amaju Pinnick who had met with the then Queens Park Rangers player to speak about switching allegiance to Nigeria. 

The news comes just eight days after the news of Reims striker Folarin Balogun pitching his tent with the United States men’s national soccer team ahead of England and Nigeria.

Born in Greenwich, Greater London to Nigerian parents, Eze started his football career with Arsenal before being released when he was 13. 

Eze received his maiden call-up after an unfortunate knee injury dashed his hopes of securing a spot in the England squad for the previous European Championships in 2021.

England manager Gareth Southgate said he’s always been an admirer of the Palace man.

“We’ve liked him for a long time, he was unfortunate before the Euros,” said Southgate per SkySport.

“We were going to call him in for a prep camp and he got an unfortunate injury.

“He has finished the season really strongly. He can play in a couple of positions across the attacking line. Everyone I speak to talks brilliantly about him as a person.”

Eze joins the long list of players of Nigerian descent who have opted to represent England. Others include Tammy Abraham, Fikayo Tomori and Bukayo Saka.

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