Roy Hodgson believes Crystal Palace can build their future around “talismanic” forward Wilfried Zaha. Ivory Coast star Zaha signed a new five-year contract this week, a deal that both Palace and boss Hodgson insist will put to bed any rumours of a move away from Selhurst Park.
The 25-year-old hit the net as the Eagles downed Fulham 2-0 at Craven Cottage to kick-start their Premier League campaign, and will be seeking to step up again when the Eagles host Liverpool on Monday night.
And Hodgson believes the highly-coveted Zaha can now scale new heights in south London.
“First of all it means any speculation around his future is quashed,” said Hodgson of Zaha.
“I think it’s very, very good that a player of his ability has committed his long-term future to the club.
“We think very highly of him both as a person and a player, and he’s got even a talismanic quality, being from this part of the world and starting his career at Crystal Palace.
“All of those things need to be factored in and we’re delighted that he’s decided now that this is where he wants to be.
“Because when you sign a contract of that length and magnitude, that’s where you intend to be for the coming years.
“It gives the chairman (Steve Parish) and (sporting director) Doug Freedman a chance also to do some very serious planning about the future, and of course he’s a player we’d like to plan around.”