Patrick Vieira is determined to hold on to Wilfried Zaha after the new Crystal Palace boss has had ‘really good’ talks with the attacker despite being asked to leave Selhurst Park… while urging him to commit to his ‘ambitious’ project
- Wilfried Zaha seeks an exit at Crystal Palace after six years in Selhurst Park
- But his new boss Patrick Vieira is hopeful he can convince the player to stay
- Vieira called him ‘one of the most talented players in the league’ after talks
- He said he was excited to work with him and wants him to be a part of his project
Crystal Palace boss Patrick Vieira is optimistic about his chances of continuing to play Wilfried Zaha after having a ‘very good’ talk with him, and admits he is excited about the prospect of working together.
Zaha has made his feelings clear to his youth club, demanding to leave this summer after six years back at Selhurst Park after initially joining Manchester United. He has been heavily linked with a move and came close to both Arsenal and Everton in recent years.
Palace would be open to selling Zaha, whose contract expires in 2023, but with the season opener against Chelsea just weeks away, Vieira hopes to have the 28-year-old in his plans and believes he is “one of the most talented players in the world.” in the Premier League.
Crystal Palace boss Patrick Vieira remains positive about keeping Wilfried Zaha at the club
‘I am aware of Wilfried’ [Zaha and his situation] over the years, but we had a really good conversation and I’m looking forward to working with him,” he told Sky Sports.
“He is one of the most talented players in this league and we don’t want to lose one of our best players.
“All the players are smart enough to see what the club is trying to build and where the club wants to go. We’ve spotted some really exciting young players and I think that indicates the direction the football club wants to take.”
Vieira said he was excited to work with Zaha and hailed him as one of the best in the league
“I hope Wilfried will be a part of that and I look forward to working with him and making Palace as high as possible.”
Sportsmail reported in June that Palace chairman Steve Parish would not stand in the way of Zaha if they got an offer for the player.
But with no offer on the table, Zaha may have to pledge his future to the club for now and see if Vieira’s new era can offer something more positive and help advance his own career.
Vieira himself believes the club is ready for a bright new chapter and believes their talented young batch of players can take them to the next level.
Zaha has already informed Palace of his wish to leave, but seems to have few offers
“We are an ambitious football club and want to challenge as high on the table as possible,” he added.
“We think we have a good squad, but at the same time we have to realize that some players need time to express themselves at this level.
“We can be excited about the young, talented players we are developing, but we have to manage expectations.
“The Premier League is a challenge and we are entering a new cycle where we have lost some experienced players and brought in some young, talented players who have no Premier League experience.
Palace builds exciting transfer business – with Conor Gallagher arriving from Chelsea
Vieira is confident Palace is heading into a bright era and wants Zaha to be a part of it
“So we need some time to get everything working and to find the right balance.”
Zaha scored 11 goals in all competitions last season – his most prolific season for the Eagles. He has scored a total of 68 goals in his career with the club since his first professional season in 2009.
Palace are looking to make a big impact in their first season under Vieira after making a string of impressive signings. He has already picked up Reading midfielder Michael Olise, while Chelsea stars Marc Guehi and Conor Gallagher have also arrived.
And Palace beat competition from a number of clubs to bring in Danish defender Joachim Andersen from Lyon after impressing with Fulham last year.