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23rd Jun 2024

Arsenal linked with Eberechi Eze as Palace star says it’s his dream to play for boyhood club

Harry Warner

Eberechi Eze

Crystal Palace’s squad might end the transfer window shattered

Crystal Palace and England star Eberechi Eze continues to garner attention from clubs in the Premier League with Arsenal said to be heavily interested.

After a fantastic season with Palace, the 25-year-old received a call up to Gareth Southgate’s Euros squad, understandably leading to interest from some of England’s biggest clubs.

Eze’s links to Arsenal go deeper than just transfer rumour as the attacker used to play in Arsenal’s academy when he was younger and grew up a supporter of the club.

In an interview with Football Focus, Eze spoke about the challenges of being released from clubs while in the youth system around London.

He said: “Arsenal was probably the hardest. My dream was to play for them. Hearing them say ‘no’ at 13 was tough. I remember training after I got released and I couldn’t focus because I was crying.

“But it helped me so much in all the other rejections because, if I can get through Arsenal releasing me, then I can get through any other team releasing me.”

Talking about what match made him fall in love with football when he was younger he said “[An] Arsenal game when I was younger. When they were away in the maroon kit. Henry was playing. Van Persie as well.”

Such comments about Arsenal legends will be sure to get ans excited about the Palace man.

Mikel Arteta is keen on improving the Gunners squad this summer, with a central midfielder and versatile forward among the positions being looked at.

Eze could fill that role perfectly and is in good form coming off the back of a season where he got 15 goal contributions in 27 Premier League appearances.

However, if Arteta wants to acquire Eze’s services, his club will have to pay the Englishman’s reported £60m release clause and also fend off interest from elsewhere as Arsenal’s North London rivals Spurs are also interested.

Eze is reported to be one of Spurs’ priority targets.

Meanwhile, as the sellers, Crystal Palace could quickly see their team pulled about after they experienced an incredible uplift in form at the end of last season, scoring 21 goals in seven games and beating Manchester United and Liverpool along the way.

With Michael Olise seemingly confirmed to be moving to Bayern Munich and with Adam Wharton and Marc Guéhi being heavily linked with moves away, Palace could find themselves with a massively weakened team next season, although a lot richer for it.