Crystal Palace attacking midfielder, Eberechi Eze, has admitted that he was hugely disappointed and wept alongside his mum when he was released by Arsenal at the age of thirteen.
Though his story with the Gunners ended up with disappointment, the England U21 international of Nigerian descent has done well in developing his talent after spells at Fulham, Reading, Millwall and Queens Park Rangers before moving to Crystal Palace in the summer transfer window.
A crowd-pleaser, Eze has shown his worth since his arrival at Palace, wasting no time to break into the starting lineup and was the club’s Goal of the Month and Player of the Month winner for November.
“I got scouted by a few clubs and that’s when I first went to Arsenal. At a young age it was hard, especially being released. Me and my mum cried, everyone was so upset – that’s all you know at that age,” Eze said.
“But looking back at it now, that’s the start of my journey and I’m grateful to God that’s how it went.
“If it wasn’t for that, I may not have got the resilience, bravery, to go and be who I want to be elsewhere. It’s shaped me to be who I am today.”
The Eagles number 25 continued: “I was coming to terms with how difficult it was going to be. That’s what it was for me, realising this is going to be a lot harder than I may have thought, getting a pro contract somewhere and becoming what I want to become.
“I knew that was a bit further than I once thought.”
Eze has a decision to make on his international future as he has been approached by Nigeria Football Federation boss, Amaju Pinnick, to switch his allegiance to the Super Eagles.