Roy Hodgson ready for renewed Wilfried Zaha transfer battle

Roy Hodgson ready for renewed Wilfried Zaha transfer battle

Roy Hodgson praised Wilfried Zaha after his goalscoring performance against Burnley and is bracing himself for the opening of another transfer window.

Zaha handed in a transfer request in the summer but Palace rejected offers from Arsenal and Everton to keep the 27-year-old at Selhurst Park.

Chairman Steve Parish has said he would allow Zaha to leave in January for the right club at the right price and the winger has been in impressive form.

After scoring a belated first goal of the season in last weekend’s defeat by Liverpool, Zaha netted the opener just before half-time in a 2-0 victory at Turf Moor.

Hodgson said: “He’s a good player isn’t he? He’s capable of causing problems to any defence anywhere in the world.

“When he’s in good form like he is, when he’s as concentrated as he was today – because his performance wasn’t only good going forward, it was also good defensively.

“And, of course, the goal that he scored and one or two chances that he helped set up, that’s what we need from him. Good for Wilf, that’s two goals in two games and, if he can keep that up, it will help us enormously to climb the table.”

The Eagles boss continued: “We’ve never wanted to lose him. But, when you’re Crystal Palace, and I think Burnley would regard themselves in the same situation, when a player does exceptionally well and there’s lots of clubs after them and prepared to pay big money, it’s not always that easy to keep hold of them.

“We can’t say to Wilf, ‘You’ve got to stay with us because we’ll be Champions League next year’.

“I’m happy that it didn’t materialise, I think he’s done exceptionally well to get over that and accept it and make certain he’s once again doing his level best for this club.

“Who knows, there might come a time in the future where we’re confronted with that situation again. But, until that day arrives, I’ll carry on working with him, being happy to be working with him and happy that we’ve got a player of his ability to help us win football matches.”

Palace had picked up only one point from a very tough run of five previous matches so this victory, secured by substitute Jeffrey Schlupp in the 78th minute, was timely.

“It was an impressive victory, an important one after the run of games we’ve had,” said Hodgson.

“I don’t think we’ve been in bad form or played poorly in recent games so it was important for me to keep the players believing that you don’t necessarily equate form with results.”

Burnley had won their previous two matches 3-0 but were sloppy at both ends, with Chris Wood missing a golden chance after a mistake by Cheikhou Kouyate and Ben Mee’s error playing in Schlupp.

Goalkeeper Nick Pope, who has been praised for his form this season, was also beaten at his near post by Zaha.

Manager Sean Dyche said: “The first one he will be disappointed with, just because he has very high standards.

“Other than that I thought his game was very good again. I’m certainly not despondent about the performance.

“We just didn’t find the key moments we have been finding in the last couple of games but no lack of organisation or effort or commitment, it was just that they found the moments and we didn’t.”

Burnley also lost left-back Charlie Taylor to a hamstring injury.

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