Patrick Vieira: Return of Eberechi Eze can cause selection headache in coming weeks

Crystal Palace's 23-year-old winger made his return from injury on Saturday against Millwall in the FA Cup.

After eight months out with injury, Ebere Eze made his return on Saturday in Crystal Palace's hard-fought 2-1 win over Millwall in the FA Cup.

Operating on the left flank, Eze struggled to stamp his authority on the game, but looked impressive in parts as he continued to recover from the achilles injury he suffered back in May.

The 23-year-old was understandably lacking match fitness and was substituted just after the hour mark, but manager Patrick Vieira is hopeful he can start to give him selection headaches in the coming weeks.

Palace are without Cheikhou Kouyate, Jordan Ayew and Wilfried Zaha due to their participation in the African Cup of Nations, meaning there is an opening for Eze to nail down a starting spot.

Vieira also suggested that Saturday's goalscorer Michael Olise can force his way into the side should he continue to perform at a high standard.

"All the players are impatient. They all want to play and this is what I like about Michael, what I like about Eze," Vieira said.

"They want to be on the field and want to play. Their job is to make it difficult for me and when you look at the way both of them played, yes I will have a difficult decision to make in the next couple of weeks."

Even with three players away on international duty, Vieira still has plenty of attacking options, with Christian Benteke and Odsonne Edouard coming off the bench against Millwall, while Jean-Philippe Mateta scored the winner after being handed a rare start.

Following Eze's third appearance of the season, Vieira took a moment to praise his player, while also urging him to make more progress during this rare opportunity.

"Eze performed how I was expecting. When he gets the ball at his feet, he is a really creative player.

"At times you can see he is still missing a little bit of sharpness and that will come with time.

"I think he is just like Michael. We have a period where we are missing players up front and they will have more chance to play so I expect him and want him to progress game after game.

"I was really pleased with his performance. Like the team, he was more comfortable in the second half than he was in the first half."

Both Olise and Eze will be hoping to play a part in Palace's Premier League match against rivals Brighton on January 14.

READ MORE: Eddie Howe reacts as Newcastle owners visit dressing room following shock FA Cup exit

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