Eberechi Eze made his Palace bow today against Southampton, coming off the bench in the Eagles' opening day win.
Speaking in his post-match press conference, Roy Hodgson explained his reasoning behind not starting the new signing from Queens Park Rangers: "It was mainly because he has had so little game time. He came to us not having played in matches for Queens Park Rangers – not even, perhaps, having done the level of fitness work we or he would’ve liked because of course he was in the middle of transfer negotiations.
"He came to us and did one session and then played from the start in a game on the Saturday [v Charlton Athletic] but got injured. He should’ve been going away with England but the injury meant he couldn’t do that.
"We’ve then had to wait until the start of this week to see him in some sort of training again. I knew this was going to be a very physical and tough game, therefore, I thought the best thing to do for the team and the club was to have him in reserve.
"And I think it worked out quite well, because in that last 15 minutes, when our wide midfield players, who had done such an enormous amount of work and were beginning to tire, I was able to put him on, and even in that 15 minutes he was able to showcase the qualities he possesses."