Crystal Palace have struggled for consistency at the start of the new Premier League season but Wilfried Zaha’s form continues to provide inspiration.
The 25-year-old scored a spectacular goal in the Eagles’ 1-0 victory over Huddersfield Town on Saturday, securing a first win for Roy Hodgson’s side since their triumph over Fulham on the opening day of the campaign.
Zaha has now scored in back-to-back games, having found the net in a 2-1 defeat to Watford prior to the international break, and his tally of three Premier League goals this term is a number only four players in the league can better.
Most impressively though is that Zaha’s upturn in form does not appear to be a mere purple patch, as it maintains a fine run he enjoyed during the back-end of last season to help propel Crystal Palace away from their initial struggles in the league.
Zaha finished the 2017-18 season with nine Premier League goals, five of which came in his final six appearances – creating an overall record of eight goals from just ten matches, which puts him right up there with the best.
8 – Wilfried Zaha has netted eight goals in his last 10 Premier League games, as many as in his previous 44. Essential. #HUDCRY
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) September 15, 2018
It is, unfortunately, a huge blow for England though after they neglected to give Zaha competitive action at international level, following appearances in two friendlies in 2012, which then saw him switch allegiances to the Ivory Coast.
While Zaha shines, England have seen their options in wide areas struggle for form at both club and international level, with the two most obvious examples being Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford and Arsenal’s Danny Welbeck.
While Rashford features regularly for Jose Mourinho’s side, completing ninety minutes is a rarity for the Red Devils academy graduate and his form in front of goal has not been as prolific as his haul of five goals in 11 games back in 2015-16.
Welbeck, meanwhile, finds himself competing with the likes of Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Mesut Ozil, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette for football at Arsenal and stands as a bit-part player for both club and country.
On top of this, while Raheem Sterling continues to star for Manchester City he has struggled to transfer those appearances to the international stage – leaving Gareth Southgate with a crop of wingers carrying various types of baggage, while Zaha is soaring high with the Eagles and the Ivory Coast.