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‘He’s a Palace hero’ - Zaha hails departing Crystal Palace goalkeeper Julian Speroni

4:16 PM GMT+8 10/05/2019
Wilfried Zaha - Crystal Palace
The 39-year-old shot-stopper will be bringing his stay at Selhurst Park to an end after a memorable time with the side

Wilfried Zaha has praised Crystal Palace goalkeeper Julian Speroni, who will be departing the club at the end of the season.

Following his contract with the club drawing to a close, the Argentine will be end his 15-year stay with the Selhurst Park club on Sunday, after joining them in 2004.

During his time with Palace, Speroni made 405 appearances and helped his side to keep 112 clean sheets in all competitions.

He played a key role as the Eagles defeated Watford in the 2012 Championship Play-off final to return to the Premier League after an eight-year absence.

Zaha, a Palace academy graduate, played with the 39-year-old for nine years, and he is full of appreciation for the contribution of the stopper.

“Before I was even in the first team he was unbelievable,” Zaha told the Crystal Palace website.

“And then managing to meet him you see how much of a gentleman and a nice guy he is. I’m happy to have been at Palace at the same time as he is.

“He’s been a mentor for me. Obviously, we play in different positions but whatever I was going through he would be someone I could speak to about anything.

“In the semi-final play-off against Brighton and then final against Watford, those two saves he made were not only defining for the club but especially for me as well. He’s a Palace hero for sure.”

Zaha has scored 10 goals in 33 league appearances this season and will hope to replicate that form for Ivory Coast in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt, slated for June and July.

The Elephants are in Group D along with Morocco, Namibia and South Africa.

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