Eze can handle hype and should aim for England, says Hodgson

The 22-year-old, signed for just shy of £20million from QPR last summer, has impressed in his first Premier League season and shone in the win over Sheffield United on Saturday – a result which confirmed Palace’s place in the top flight for next season.

There are high hopes for Eze in south London – with Hodgson saying the attacking midfielder should have aspirations to break into the England squad.

While Hodgson is wary that such talk can hinder young players, the former Three Lions manager is confident Eze has what it takes to handle toe spotlight.

“I just hope he can produce more performances like the one he did against Sheffield, but I hope even more he won’t be talked about or built up to such an extent that it makes it difficult for him to progress,” said Hodgson.

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“What makes me see it is years and years of experience of seeing good young players appear on the scene and having their careers hampered by having too much praise showered on them or too much expectation.

“I don’t have any fears with regard to Eberechi himself at all. I think he’ll handle it even if it goes over the top. He’ll handle it, I’m not worried about that at all, because he’s such a level-headed person.

“He knows what he’s got to do and knows that a pat on the back one day becomes the kick up the backside the day after.

“But during a long career I’ve seen a lot of situations where a player has burst onto the scene and got enormous praise and then all of a sudden they haven’t been able to handle it.

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