Tuesday 20 August 2019

Zaha’s new contract completes Palace jigsaw, says chairman Parish

Chairman Steve Parish aiming for successful season at Selhurst Park.

Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha has signed a long-term contract extension (Yui Mok/PA)
Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha has signed a long-term contract extension (Yui Mok/PA)

By Damian Spellman, Press Association Sport

Crystal Palace chairman Steve Parish considers Wilfried Zaha signing a new contract the “final piece of the jigsaw” in the club’s hopes for a successful season.

The forward was linked with a departure throughout a summer in which Yohan Cabaye left for Al Nasr and attempts to re-sign Chelsea’s Ruben Loftus-Cheek ended in frustration, but on Wednesday he agreed terms to commit to Palace until 2023.

Zaha remaining at Selhurst Park at the conclusion of the transfer window was followed by the club’s manager Roy Hodgson signing a contract extension until 2020 and the forward scoring the winning goal in Saturday’s 2-0 victory at Fulham. His commitment further strengthens their promising position.

Max Meyer, Cheikhou Kouyate, Vicente Guaita and Jordan Ayew were also recruited to a squad already thriving under Hodgson’s management, and Parish told the club’s official website: “It’s absolutely fantastic. We’re all so committed this year to giving it our best shot, and this is the final piece of the jigsaw.

“It’s nice to put all those stories to bed, stories that we knew weren’t true and were just rumour mongering. Wilfried the player that we’ve seen all summer has done everything properly and right.

“He’s shown the respect he’s got for this football club, and he should be applauded for that with all the noise that was going on around him. We’ve settled everything in terms of his long-term future, so we’re absolutely ecstatic.

“He’s scored the first goal when we bought the club in 2010. It’s been an incredible journey that we’ve been on together. It’s been a fantastic journey, for the club, for me, for him. It seems as though we’re intertwined on this journey, and long may it continue.”

Wilfried Zaha celebrates a Palace goal at Selhurst Park (Dominic Lipinski/PA Images).

Hodgson had spoken last week of his confidence that Zaha would commit to the club.

He was again their most influential player last season, when the manager unexpectedly led them to survival after his appointment to succeed the sacked Frank de Boer.

It was after Hodgson’s arrival that Zaha produced perhaps his finest ever form in a more advanced, central role, and the the 25-year-old forward added: “I just wanted to get it over and done with so I can just focus on the season.

“I’m buzzing that we managed to get it sorted.”

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