Crystal Palace ‘need’ to keep Wilfried Zaha


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Crystal Palace defender Joel Ward admits the club must do everything possible to keep star performer Wilfried Zaha at Selhurst Park.

The Ivory Coast international forward has been touted for a potential move away from south London this summer, which would come as a big blow to manager Roy Hodgson.

Zaha managed nine goals in 29 appearances last term, with midfielder Luka Milivojevic the only man to reach double figures for Palace last season.

Palace failed to register a Premier League point without Zaha in their side last season.

They lost their first seven games as manager Frank de Boer was axed before ex-England boss Hodgson steadied the ship and led them to 11th spot.

For Ward, keeping hold of 25-year-old Zaha, who previously left for Manchester United before returning to his boyhood side, is vital.

“We all know how important he is for us and we’d love to keep him and that’s what we need,” Ward told reporters.

“We need Wilf to lead the line of attack and to show what he can do because he has done that time and time again for us, and he’s a key part of this squad.

“He’s a character, he’s a winner and he wants to succeed and he wants to win, as does every single member of the squad.”

Palace begin the new season with a London derby against promoted Fulham at Craven Cottage on August 11.

They are 3.00 to win that game, while the Eagles are 6.50 to be relegated next season.

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