A lengthy summer transfer window ended with a sigh of relief for Crystal Palace fans, as Wilfried Zaha remained in south London for the 2018-19 season.
Linked with Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea, the Ivory Coast international remained loyal to the Eagles and has since been rewarded with a lucrative new contract that runs until 2023 – with the club confirming the new deal on Wednesday.
Since *that* disappointing time with Manchester United, Zaha has found his home at Selhurst Park and securing the 25-year-old to a long-term deal is vital for the club’s plans for the coming years – as shown by a remarkable stat.
10 – Since the start of 2017-18, Crystal Palace haven't won a single point in the 10 Premier League matches that Wilfried Zaha hasn't started. Of the 29 games he has started, they've averaged 1.62 points per game. Crucial. pic.twitter.com/YakDklWFFO
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) August 15, 2018
Since the start of the 2017-18 season, Crystal Palace failed to win a single point in the 10 Premier League matches that Zaha has not started – compared to the average of 1.62 points a game that the Eagles have picked up with their maestro in the side.
His importance was shown last season when, after a woeful start to the season for the south London side, Zaha led the way in a miraculous revival under Roy Hodgson – scoring nine goals and contributing a further three assists.
Zaha hit the ground running against Fulham, opening his account for the campaign on the season’s first round of fixtures, and keeping his services at the club are more important than any of the summer business Hodgson completed in recent months.