Millwall manager Neil Harris on Ebere Eze's release – and his subsequent form for QPR

IF Millwall are to have a chance of defeating QPR this Saturday, then they will have to keep a player they released in the summer of 2016 quiet.

Ebere Eze, 21, has already shown Millwall he may have been the one that got away with a goal in the Hoops’ 2-0 win at Loftus Road last season.

He was on the scoresheet last weekend when he fired home the opener from 25 yards in his side’s 3-2 win at home to Luton that leaves them only outside the play-off places on goal difference.

Eze (above centre, after a Millwall hat-trick against QPR under-21s) joined the west London club the August after his release following Neil Harris’ first full season in charge of Millwall.

The attacker didn’t make a first-team Lions appearance, but caught the eye with the under-21s, scoring a hat-trick against his current side in October 2015.

Greenwich-born Eze started just one game for QPR in his first season, a 2-1 defeat at home to Blackburn in the third round of the FA Cup.

But a loan move to Wycombe at the start of the 2017-18 season really accelerated his development. He scored five goals in 16 league starts in League One, before heading back to his parent club in January and finally forcing his way into the first-choice side.

Eze’s talent got a bigger audience last season when he made 43 league appearances and Southampton are one of a number of Premier League clubs reportedly keeping an eye on him. He has been rated at £15million if he does leave QPR.

Harris praised Eze ahead of the clash with their London rivals.

“I think Ebs has matured a lot. He’s a cracking lad and I’m really pleased he’s gone on to do well,” Harris said.

“When boys leave here you always want to see them do well. You’re always going to get one over 10, 12, 15 years that goes away and does well after coming out of the club.

“But the hundreds that leave us we want to see them do well and play professional football. We’re so pleased to see players we’ve let go or have left us have league careers.

“Ultimately, it’s not just about getting as many into our team as possible, you want to give them due care and attention and see them progress off the pitch as young man, as well as see them become really good footballers.

“I’m pleased for Ebs that he’s doing well, but also pleased for the boys that leave us and go and have good careers in League football or at high levels in non-league.”

Image: Millwall FC 

John Kelly