Wilfried Zaha the most important Crystal Palace player, says Roy Hodgson

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The Eagles gaffer has likened the Cote d'ivoire international to Lionel Messi following his impact at the club

Wilfried Zaha is the most important player for Crystal Palace, according to Roy Hodgson.

The 25-year-old has scored four goals and contributed two assists amid several dazzling displays this season.

However, the former Manchester United player suffered a knee injury at the beginning of February and was sidelined for a month with the club struggling in his absence as they failed to secure victory throughout that period.

Last week, he staged an early return against Chelsea and exerted his impact, assisting with the consolation goal as the Eagles went down 2-1 at Stamford Bridge.

“He [Zaha] has the exceptional ability to run with the ball and beat people,” Hodgson told Sky Sports.

“Those type of players are very important as we saw in the Chelsea-Barcelona game and Lionel Messi. If Messi hadn't played it could have been a totally different result [Barca won 3-0].

"We have had to do without [Zaha, Mamodou Sakho, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Yohan Cabaye] for a long period of time and as I said about Lionel Messi, you watch a game [against Chelsea] and you wouldn't have to be too intelligent to work out that this guy is so important for his team and if you took him out of their team, they might not be quite as dominant as they have been.

“All four are definitely available and I have to pick what I think is the best starting 11 from this group - something I haven't been able to do for a long period of time.

“Having these guys come back has helped remove any lingering gloom there might have been, and most important of all it stops you feeling sorry for yourself, because that's a very dangerous thing to do."

Wilfried Zaha

Crystal Palace have lost all their last four games which makes the game against Huddersfield a crucial one as they aim to avoid the drop at the end of the season.

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They currently occupy the 18th spot in the log after garnering 30 points from 27 games and a win at Kirklees Stadium could lift them off the relegation zone.

 

 

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