To me that solo opened another world for Clapton to enter. His type of guitar had its place in pop music and especially the blues, but now with hey Jude, I could see him being excited, that the guitar now makes it to soul music, too.
This begs the question, that Duane sounded sincere that he really admired Eric's playing, so what was the solo of Eric that really grabbed him? My guess is, with Duane being almost uniquely melodic, it would have been Sunshine, and maybe Have You Ever, when they were together. I wish Duane could have got to hear Ramblin, to me Clapton's finest, right up there with Duane, story telling, melodic moment.