How Important is Wilfried Zaha to Crystal Palace?

How Important is Wilfried Zaha to Crystal Palace?

The arrival of Roy Hodgson at Selhurst Park seems to have had an impact on one man in particular.

Although the former England manager didn’t ignite a turn in Palace’s fortunes straight away, the Eagles have certainly improved significantly in the past month.

It is just one loss in eight Premier League games now for Crystal Palace, and Wilfried Zaha’s performances have been a fundamental part in it. The number-11’s talent has never been questionable, more so the consistency of his performances.

In seasons gone by it seems like you hear of something remarkable Zaha has done every month or so, which leaves you pondering his contributions in other weeks. This season though he has been the catalyst for Palace, he has been the one who has stood up to the challenge when his team have needed it the most.

It’s easy for a player like Zaha, renowned for his flair, to shrug his shoulders when the going gets tough, but he has done the exact opposite.

The Ivorian international has scored some huge goals for Hodgson’s side, who were at the foot of the table for a number of weeks.

His goal that proved to be the winner in the shock victory over Chelsea has proven to be the result that they may well look back on in May, as the one that turned their season around. He followed that one up with a 97th minute equaliser against West Ham, that only served up more joy and relief for the Palace fans. Zaha then found the net in another important point against Everton, before scoring in the Eagles’ superb 0-3 victory at Leicester last time out.

This goal showcased all his talents and it was perhaps the type of goal everyone has always expected Zaha to be scoring week in week out. Zaha burst forward, before selling the Leicester defence with a lovely dummy, and firing a rocket into the bottom corner that no goalkeeper on the planet could’ve saved.

When the winger performs how he has been as of late you cannot help but think he wouldn’t look out of place at a top club – an Arsenal or Tottenham most realistically.

If Roy Hodgson can keep the performance levels at the height they are at for Zaha currently, you would imagine the London outfit will be clear of the drop zone come the end of the season.

Not only that, but the Crystal Palace board may well have some bids arriving in the post, for a player who the club’s fans have taken to their hearts, and a player who can win a side a football match on his day