Eze does it as Palace boss Hodgson signs forward

LONDON (AFP) – Eberechi Eze became Roy Hodgson’s most expensive signing in his time as Crystal Palace manager yesterday, joining for a reported GBP20 million (USD26.5 million) from second-tier Queens Park Rangers.

Hodgson saw off rivals West Bromwich Albion and West Ham to secure the signature of the 22-year-old forward, who penned a five year contract.

Eze, who scored 20 goals in 112 appearances for QPR and has been capped at Under-20 and Under-21 level by England, said Palace offered the chance for him to develop as a player.

“As a football club, I feel like there are great players here and it’s a brilliant opportunity for me to come and be with these players, to link up with them and to really push on,” he said in a club statement.

Palace succeeded at the third time of asking after having bids of GBP8 million and GBP12 million rejected.

“Eberechi is a player whose development we have followed closely,” said Palace chairman Steve Parish.

“We are delighted he has chosen to sign for us over the other clubs that were interested and we feel that this is the right club for him to continue his development.”

QPR manager Mark Warburton had stipulated Eze would only leave if the club’s GBP20 million valuation was met.

The deal is reportedly for GBP16 million up front with GBP4 million in potential add-ons.

Belgium striker Christian Benteke remains Palace’s most expensive signing, bought for an initial GBP27 million in August 2016.