Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace: Cook delivers verdict on how Zaha has appeared in pre-season

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On the latest episode of the HLTCO podcast, Dan Cook spoke about what he’s seen from Wilfried Zaha this pre-season and what it might mean for his future.

It had been reported earlier this year that Zaha was once again looking to leave and coming off the back of his best goalscoring season, there may well have been a lot of interest in the Ivory Coast international.

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Zaha came through the academy at Palace and has only spent one full season away from Selhurst Park when he endured a torrid few months at Old Trafford and spent the second half of the 2013/14 campaign on loan at Cardiff City before ultimately returning to the Eagles.

Cook gave his thoughts on Zaha’s situation and how his currently looks.

“I know Wilf, for large parts of last season, didn’t look particularly motivated. He was scoring goals and still pulling his weight for the team, but it always felt as though he was going through the motions, [to] a degree.

“Whereas, this pre-season, he looks so up for it and so pleased with everything that seems to be going on behind the scenes. Maybe that’s because Patrick Vieira has reinvigorated and then lit a fire underneath him.

“So, if he feels capable and confident of speaking about Wilf and his desire [to get] more from him in the coming weeks and months, in my mind, it only bodes well for what we are likely to get from Wilf on the pitch between now and May.”

TIF Thoughts on Zaha…

Zaha still has two years left to run on his current contract, so Palace still hold all the cards when it comes to the winger’s future, but as Cook said, Zaha looks up for it in pre-season – so we may see him as a reborn player.

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Last season, Roy Hodgson opted to play Zaha through the middle as a striker for large parts of the season, a reason why he managed to score so many goals, so it will be interesting if that is something the Ivorian will be hoping continues or if he would prefer to manipulate full-backs as a under Vieira.

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