January 22, 2021

Zaha is Crystal Palace’s best ever ―Andy Johnson

September 20, 2018
Wilfried Zaha

Crystal Palace legend Andy Johnson believes Wilfried Zaha is the club’s best ever player.

The Ivory Coast winger is already the Eagles’ top Premier League goalscorer ever at just 25-years-old with 28, overtaking Johnson’s tally of 22.

And he is undoubtedly Palace’s most important player currently, certainly considering the fact the South London side have not won a game without him since late 2016.

After rising through the Eagles academy ranks he left for Manchester United in 2013 for £15m only to return a year later for £4m having not been given a proper chance at Old Trafford.

Now he is Palace’s highest paid player having just struck a new £130,000-a-week deal and, according to Johnson, is their greatest player.

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When asked if Zaha was Palace’s best ever player he told the Five Year Plan Podcast: “I think so. I am so pleased he stayed, I’m absolutely delighted he stayed I wouldn’t have wanted to see him go. Especially after how he struggled to settle at Manchester United I just feel he’s come back, he’s got his mojo back, he’s full of confidence.

“He is untouchable on his day, absolutely untouchable. Everyone does talk about Wilf but you have to appreciate the other 10 players around him because he doesn’t work without those 10 players but at the same time he’s a game-changer and a winner and Palace lose that confidence psychologically when he isn’t playing.”

Johnson scored his 22 Premier League goals for Palace during a prolific 2004/5 season that despite seeing him end up the top English goalscorer that season the Eagles were relegated on the final day.

But he believes that under Roy Hodgson, who he played for at Fulham, the South London side will be fine and survive for a seventh consecutive season in the top flight, despite losing three of their opening five games.

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“Without a shadow of a doubt (they will survive). Not only Roy’s style of football that I believe in and bought into when I was at Fulham but the players that he has got there, he’s got more than enough there. I think they’ll end up finishing way above mid table. In and around 10th to 14th would be a fantastic achievement for them.

“Last season was touch and go for a long time but in this league it is so close; back to back wins are massive, a third win is humungous and takes you well away from the bottom.”

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