Hodgson: Zaha deal ends exit talk

Roy Hodgson is delighted that Wilfried Zaha is staying
Roy Hodgson is delighted that Wilfried Zaha is staying


Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson says Wilfried Zaha’s new deal quashes speculation over the player’s long-term future.

Zaha was linked with a move away from the club throughout the summer, but signed a new deal to stay with Palace until 2023, and Hodgson believes the club can build a team around him.

The Palace boss, who also recently signed a new contract until 2020, said: “It’s very good that a player of his ability has committed long term to the club.

“We think very, very highly of him, both as a person and as a player.

“He has a talismanic quality when it comes from being from part of this area, and starting his career here at Palace.

Roy Hodgson has also signed a new deal at Palace
Roy Hodgson has also signed a new deal at 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.”

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

He 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.”

Palace face Liverpool on Monday night, live on Sky Sports, and Hodgson says his team are ready for a difficult test against Jurgen Klopp’s side at Selhurst Park.

He said: [Monday will be] very special. It’s made easier by the fact we won the first game. It will be very difficult for us. We know what we’re up against but we’re ready for it.

“If you look at the attacking threat they pose. We know where their strengths lie, but knowing it and then stopping it are different things.

“We’re at home and have strengths of our own.

“We picked up a couple of knocks against Fulham, but those players are now fit and we will have a full squad.”

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