New Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira has disclosed that he is sure that Wilfried Zaha will be part of his plans next season after holding productive talks with the exciting winger.
Zaha, 28, recently expressed his desire to leave Selhurst Park this summer but he has not attracted any major interest while Palace’s valuation of him remains higher than that of any potential suitors that are interested in his signature.
Since the arrival of Vieira, the club have shown intent with the acquisition of Michael Olise, Joachim Andersen, and Marc Guehi while Conor Gallagher has joined on a loan deal. Therefore, the Frenchman is hoping that the recent additions to the squad will convince Zaha to stay put and has spoken with him.
“I’m aware of Wilfried [Zaha’s situation] in the last couple of years but we had a really good conversation and I’m looking forward to working with him,” Vieira told Sky Sports.
“He’s 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 want to go – we’ve made some really exciting young player signings and I think that shows the direction the football club wants to take.
“I hope Wilfried will be part of that, I don’t have any doubt about that, and I am looking forward to working with him and trying to take Palace as high as we can.”
Crystal Palace may have been open to letting him leave but have decided to keep hold of him after the injury to Eberechi Eze late last season which has ruled him out of action until January.
Meanwhile, Olise arrived with a back issue and is likely to play no part at the start of the 2021/22 season.
The club are eager to reduce the age limit of the team and have moved on the likes of Gary Cahill, Scott Dann, Andros Townsend amongst others as they look to make room for the arrival of younger players.
Meanwhile, Vieira has urged patience ahead of the 2021/22 season although there is excitement in the air due to the recently acquired players.
“We are an ambitious football club and want to challenge as high up the table as possible,” Vieira said. “We believe we have a good squad but at the same time we have to realise some of the players will need time to express themselves at this level.
“We can be excited about the young, talented players that we are developing but we need to manage expectations.]
“The Premier League is challenging and we’re going into a new cycle where we have lost some experienced players and are bringing in some young, talented players who don’t have Premier League experience.
“So we’ll need a little bit of time to make everything work and find the right balance.”