Rio Ferdinand mocks Arsenal over Crystal Palace star decision | Football

Eberechi was released by the Gunners as a 13-year-old (Picture: Getty)

Rio Ferdinand aimed a dig at Arsenal for releasing Crystal Palace star Eze Eberechi  as a youngster.

The 25-year-old began his career at Arsenal but was released by the Gunners at the age of 13, also having short spells at Fulham, Reading and Millwall before signing his first professional contract with Queens Park Rangers in 2016.

Eberechi thrived in the Championship before joining Crystal Palace in 2020 where he has become a fan favourite at Selhurst Park, winning his first England cap last year.

Singing his praises ahead of Arsenal’s Premier League clash with Palace on Saturday afternoon, former Gunners defender Martin Keown told TNT Sport: ‘I was at the training ground this time last year when Patrick Vieira was close to leaving and I was immensely impressed with him.

‘A million questions, he was particularly wanting to know about work ethic, how I trained every day. I wanted to be the best in training every day and he was like OK I need to do more it was very interesting.

‘He’s gone on to another level. I think Roy being in his ear there presenting him in the right way and I think he’s an immense talent.

‘He was released by Arsenal as a kid, I don’t know if that will come back to haunt them today. He said he cried for a week. He is made of really strong stuff.’

Rio Ferdinand

Ferdinand couldn’t resist a dig at the Gunners (Picture: Getty)

Alongside Keown, Ferdinand playfully took aim at Arsenal’s decision to release the Palace star as a youngster, sarcastically remarking: ‘Wow, well played Arsenal!’

The former Manchester United defender also went onto back Eberechi to secure a move to ‘one of the top teams’ in the near future.

‘He’s had a unique journey, he has had disappointment in his academy life, been released from clubs but he has found a new pathway and got to this level and is an international play now,’ Ferdinand said.

‘No disrespect to Palace but this kid can go onto play for one of the top teams. He has got that individual brilliance, he’s got that awareness in his dribbling to keep his head up and bring others into the game.

‘I speak to other players who play against him and they say he is such an elusive player, unpredictable but also with size and power to go with it.’


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