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Eze: I Cried For Several Days When I was Released By Arsenal

Eze: I Cried For Several Days When I was Released By Arsenal

Eberechi Eze has revealed how he was rejected by Arsenal at the age of 13.

The Crystal Palace star also disclosed what’s driven him to success in football, how he overcame challenges as a teenager and what it means to compete in England’s top tier today.

“I grew up in Greenwich which is not too far from here [Beckenham] with my two parents, two brothers, sister ,” Eze told the Premier League Productions.

“It wasn’t the easiest but we knew we wanted to enjoy life as much as we can and that we didn’t want to be in the position we were in. So it was important we worked hard and did everything we could to give ourselves the best chance we could.

“Me and my brothers played [football] at every opportunity we could with our friends and neighbours around the area. I think that’s the first proper look at football we all got; we wanted to play football to enjoy it.

“There was never any pressure, anything, just the idea of going out to play with our friends. The longer I held on to that, the easier it was for me to be at clubs and still try to have that mentality.”

Eze’s early career bounced between clubs, with the midfielder playing across London after being rejected by Arsenal aged 13.

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Today, he reflects on the pain that first dismissal caused with gratitude, citing it as the “start of [his] journey”.

“I got scouted by a few clubs and that’s when I first went to Arsenal,” he says. “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.

“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.

“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.”

Queens Park Rangers proved to be the club Eze would secure his first deal with, and from there, the Premier League was just one step further.

“Being able to go through all these different clubs and coaches, get through all these setbacks and keep going, that’s something that’s invaluable. It’s given me the resilience and courage to not care what people think and just focus on myself.

“As a footballer, that’s your dream, to reach the highest level you can reach and continue to progress. For Palace to come in was, for me, such a big thing and there was nothing else on my mind. That was a huge moment, a huge confidence boost, because knowing where we’ve come from and what we’ve got through, to get to this point and still want to be better, to become the best player I can be and still want to do more, that’s a huge thing and I’m grateful God’s given me this life.”

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  • daniel 6 months ago

    Oga come play for 9ja, England will use you and dump you. stay there and talking long stories

  • Just pray you and your Mom won’t cry the second time when you make the wrong choice.

  • O boy u have just cried for days let me assure you that you will cry for the rest of your life if u choose to represent England,pls ask tomorrow sorry tomori how far he is now begging for contact in France

  • Chima E Samuels 6 months ago

    Is Saka crying today? Tell your NFF to fix their loopholes before this guys will commit themselves to Nigeria.

  • Eberechi Eze continues to feature in Nigerian football media blogs with his latest installment on this website being the story on his disappointment at being dropped by Arsenal at a young age.

    That article has prompted a bevy of Super Eagles supporters to suggest that such feeling of rejection will eventually be his portion of he elects to kit for England ahead of Nigeria.

    Having played with distinction in the English Championship last season after periods in the lower trenches of English football, Eze is now slowly but surely revealing his true worth with decent performances in what is England’s upper echelon: the English Premier League with Crystal Palace.

    Already an England youth international, Eze is sure destined for international football at senior level. The feeling in some quarters is that selecting England ahead of Nigeria will be a grievous mistake. But, a look at the current England midfield serves to suggest that Eze has what it takes to cement a place in the current 3 Lions squad.

    With the latest midfield set up of the England national team made up of the likes of Jack Graelish, Jude Bellingham, and Mason Mount, Eberechi Eze has every right to believe he can force his way into the squad and cement his place.

    Even if he elects to play for Nigeria, it is a well known fact that not all dual nationalities who pick Nigeria ahead of other options will be automatically picked for the Super Eagles. Josh Maja, for example, is still waiting for meaningful minutes with the Super Eagles despite featuring regularly in French football. Brian Idowu is currently in international football wilderness despite churning out quality performances in the Russian Premier League.

    So, whatever direction Eze’s international football takes, he will still have to fight for his place: Alex Iwobi for instance is not just going to be relegated to the bench for Eze if he chooses Nigeria.

    But one thing is for sure, Eze is showing that he has what it takes to fight for his place in either the Nigerian or the English national team. His performances in the Premier League is starting to catch attention.

    Okay, conventional wisdom suggests that he has a greater chance of breakthrough with Nigeria but it doesn’t mean he will have an easy ride.

    For now, he can just keep playing well and improving in the English Premier League. If he chooses England ahead of Nigeria, the Super Eagles will not be diminished as a result of his choice.

  • OYEDELE Josiah AYOTUNDE 6 months ago

    @deo: spot on

  • pompei 6 months ago

    Well put, Deo.

    These boys have a tough decision picking between England and Nigeria. However, the NFF and our administrative lapses does not make us an attractive option, to be honest!
    See the video below of Reuben Agboola’s nightmarish experience with Nigeria. Can you believe the guy is still being owed match bonuses and travel tickets, AFTER ALL THESE YEARS?
    Unless he’s telling lies, and I don’t think that is likely.
    When our English born boys see interviews like this, together with the experiences of other players who played for Nigeria in the past, can we blame them for looking well before they leap into the chaos that is Nigeria?
    We want Eze to pick Nigeria. Are the NFF ready to pay his match bonuses and provide him with a good pitch to showcase his talent? These are problems he won’t have with England!

    See the video below: