Tottenham waiting for Euro 2024 to end to sign £60m Premier League midfielder

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Tottenham are pressing to sign Crystal Palace midfielder Eberechi Eze this summer.

According to Times today, Tottenham are willing to hold off on making a bid for Crystal Palace’s Eze until after Euro 2024

To watch Eberechi Eze in full flow is a reminder of just how, way back when, the sport first reeled us all in. For a few glorious seconds, thoughts of book balancing, of technological interference, of expected “X” and inverted “Y” dissipate.

Instead, the brain’s sole focus is the mesmeric rhythm of a footballer’s graceful movement, ball dutifully following suit as if a fifth limb.

It would be foolish to rule out such a player, a man possessing the fabled X-Factor, making a late dart into Gareth Southgate’s Euro 2024 squad. Certainly, at the Tottenham Stadium on Saturday, Eze only enhanced his chances.

Against Spurs, Crystal Palace had just 22 per cent of possession and that, naturally, limited his opportunities to drive at opponents. The thing about Eze though, is that he needs only the one opening.

Just before the hour, Eze collected the ball on the half-way line. Now, he is not a possessor of burning speed. He is a glider. He has tricks to bamboozle but rarely needs to use them. A shoulder drop here, a shimmy there usually suffices.

Cristian Romero was clearly worried. He stood off, attempting to shepherd Eze away from goal. Still Eze cut inside, where he was cynically floored by Rodrigo Bentancur.

Twenty-two-yards out, just left of centre, Eze stood over the free-kick. He shuffled left, like Jonny Wilkinson of old before yet another successful conversion. He drew breath. He wrapped his right foot around the ball. Guglielmo Vicario was beaten at full stretch.

Guglielmo Vicario is helpless to stop Eberechi Eze's free-kick hitting the back of the net
Guglielmo Vicario was helpless to stop Eze’s free-kick hitting the back of the net CREDIT: Sebastian Frej/Getty Images

Since last season started, no one can match the five top-flight goals Eze has scored from beyond the penalty area. During that time, Eze has, in total, 16 strikes and five assists from just shy of 44 Premier League games.

Last season’s form – which included a late peak under the then returning Roy Hodgson – saw Eze make a belated England debut against Malta. His second, and most recent, appearance came against Scotland in September.

Southgate, then, is clearly an admirer, and Eze has flirted with the Euro’s previously. He was, remember, named in the provisional squad for Euro 2020 (played in 2021 because of Covid) only to rupture his Achilles tendon. Cruelly, Eze only received word of his call on returning to the dressing room having suffered the injury.

Eze though, is used to overcoming setbacks. His route to professional football was far from smooth, with Arsenal, Fulham and Reading all letting him go before he reached 16. A two-year scholarship at Millwall ended with release. Trials at Swansea City, Sunderland and Bristol City were unsuccessful. Finally, QPR offered him a deal. Steve McClaren made him the club’s No 10, a shirt once worn by the late Stan Bowles. He flourished under Mark Warburton before joining Palace for £16 million in 2020.

Can Eze make the summer squad? Well, fitness permitting, Bukayo Saka and Phil Foden are certain selections. That leaves two, possibly three slots for versatile, creative forwards. Marcus Rashford? Not having his best campaign. Raheem Sterling, once a Southgate darling? Unlikely. Likewise Anthony Gordon, who for whatever reason is currently being ignored.

Eberechi Eze makes his England debut against Malta
Eze (left) made his England debut against Malta CREDIT: Nick Potts/PA

Jack Grealish will, despite a lack of Manchester City minutes, likely be in. James Maddison? Perhaps too similar to Grealish. Certainly what Eze offers is different to his peers: give him a tight game and he can be the difference maker.

Counting against Eze is the staccato nature of his current campaign. Twice he has missed spells with hamstring injuries, those bookending an ankle knock. Saturday was his first action since late January. Time is against him and Palace play just once before England’s late March friendlies against Brazil and Italy. If Eze does not make those squads, his chances diminish greatly – early June kickabouts will be more “fine-tuning” than “chance to shine”.

If not now for Eze, then perhaps the next World Cup. He is only 25, but he may need to move away from Selhurst Park to push on. That he was surrounded by a Tottenham trio after Saturday’s defeat got social media hyped up. Eze received a hug from Oliver Skipp, before Brandon Austin and Heung-min Son moved in with a double arm wrap. Son did not want to let go as he whispered sweet somethings into Eze’s ears.

It could be nothing, although it would be easy to see Eze thriving under Ange Postecoglou. Sure, it would take a King’s ransom to prize Eze from Palace. He only signed a new contract – which runs until 2027 – in November, and the club would, quite rightly, want to turn a significant profit. But then again, Eze could easily be a king.

Spurs want to improve on their successful debut season under Ange Postecoglou, which saw them finish fifth in the Premier League and only miss out on playing in the Champions League narrowly.

However, under the leadership of the new manager, the team has emerged as an attacking force with the club now prepared to back Postecoglou in the transfer window this summer.

The midfielder is currently away on international duty with England, although he has not played much for Gareth Southgate’s team at the Euros.

His form in the Premier League last season has impressed a number of clubs in England.

Eze managed to score 11 goals in the Premier League along with four assists in just 27 appearances for the Eagles.

His brilliant performances, particularly under manager Oliver Glasner, have shown that the midfielder can score as well as create opportunities for his teammates.

Tottenham are confident of signing Crystal Palace midfielder Eberechi Eze.

Given that other elite teams are vying for his signature, Spurs will be trying to persuade him to sign.

The Lilywhites are reportedly preparing to pursue Eze once he returns from the Euros, as per The Times.

The North London club have no issues with his reported release clause of £60m.

Tottenham are hopeful of signing the Palace midfielder

Spurs are confident to seal the signing of the impressive attacking midfielder, who will be hoping to see more action at the Euros this summer as England prepare to face Slovakia in the Round of 16.

He would provide Spurs with an attacking outlet and add more options to their fluid attack which includes players like Son Heung-min, James Maddison and Dejan Kulusevski.

Eze can be a valuable addition to the Spurs squad who can help them qualify for the Champions League next season.

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