Hodgson backs Eze for England call-up

Roy Hodgson has backed Crystal Palace star Ebere Eze to force his way into the England side.

Hodgson, back for a second spell as Eagles boss, signed Eze during his first spell at the helm and the forward, 24, has been outstanding in recent wins over Leicester and Leeds.

Eze was called into England’s extended squad for the European Championships but then suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon.

But ex-England boss Hodgson believes current manager Gareth Southgate will be taking notice of Eze’s recent form.

Speaking at a press conference on Friday, Hodgson said: “A player like him will always be watched by members of the England staff.

“When you have players with exceptional ability you hope he can blossom, improve upon that experience and get more experience.

“I would be very surprised if he was not being monitored now he’s back fit and playing.

“If he keeps up this form then who knows, someone from England may give him the chance to show what he can do on the bigger stage.”

Eze was in and out of the side under Patrick Vieira but Hodgson insists the former QPR star’s ability has never been in doubt.

“We believe very strongly in him,” Hodgson said.

“I thought he was improving and very much coming to terms with Premier League football after about five or six months, then he had that terrible Achilles injury and that it is a very hard one to get over.

“I think he has done very well to get over it and I see now the player that I and others identified who had the talent, the skill level, the general ability to produce in the Premier League.”