I kept a close eye on QPR’s Ebere Eze in their 3-2 win against Luton last week – and was highly impressed.
Ebere was in my youth team at Millwall, but when it came to offering scholarships he was deemed surplus to requirements.
Despite having all the ability in the world, fantastic ball manipulation skills, a great strike with both feet and a terrific passing range, he didn’t quite fit into the first team plans with how the Lions play.
If Ebere was going to get a pro contract, he had to play wide. However he didn’t enjoy playing wide in a 4-4-2.
We tried to play him as a 10 to get the most out of him, but it was clear, to have a career at Millwall, he needed to play wide as the first team didn’t play with a number 10.
It meant he spent a large part of his second year scholarship in a position that didn’t get the best out of him and which he didn’t enjoy, but he had to do so to try to earn a contract.
There were also question marks over his work ethic and recovery runs.
As well as playing for my U18s, he featured for the U23s, as second year scholars do, and I was at QPR’s training ground to see him score three against Rangers a few months before the end of his scholarship.
QPR probably couldn’t believe their luck when Ebere, now 21, was released and they soon snapped him up.
After a great start to life at the Hoops, he faded in the second part of last season under the expectation of being QPR’s famous number 10.
Last week against Luton, however, he showed he is now thriving under R’s manager Mark Warburton.
He scored one, made one and forced another super save from Luton goalkeeper Simon Sluga. To cap off a perfect performance, he even made a recovery run or two!
BY DAVID CONNOLLY/ PA IMAGES