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African All Stars

Zaha: Statistics highlight winger’s importance to Crystal Palace

23:50 GMT 08/02/2021
Wilfried Zaha, Crystal Palace 2020-21
Without the Cote d’Ivoire star, Roy Hodgson’s men ended up on the losing side against Leeds United at Elland Road

Wilfried Zaha's importance to Crystal Palace was stressed after the Eagles lost 2-0 to Leeds United in Monday’s English Premier League outing.

Since the beginning of 2014-15 when the Cote d’Ivoire international re-joined the Selhurst Park outfit from Manchester United, Palace have lost 89.4 percent of English top-flight games played without him.

They have also failed to score in 15 of those 17 defeats (both home and away).

The 28-year-old did not travel to Elland Road for the game versus Marcelo Bielsa’s men owing to an injury setback. He limped off during their 2-1 triumph at Newcastle United owing to a hamstring injury expected to rule him out for weeks.

"We don't know how long it's going to keep him out but he certainly won't be available for this game and it could even be much longer than that,” manager Hodgson told the media.

"You never know with these hamstring injuries, Wilf is incredible in terms of recovery so I wouldn't want to put a definite timeline on it.

"But it is a muscle strain and all muscle strains take time to heal."

In his absence, Anglo-Nigerian Eberechi Eze and Ghana international Jordan Ayew made the starting XI, albeit, they could not prevent their team from losing with strikes from Jack Harrison and Patrick Bamford giving the hosts maximum points.

Following this result, Hodgson’s men have now lost ten games in the 2020-21 Premier League campaign to sit in the 13th position on the log having accrued 29 points from 23 games.

Zaha, who featured for Cardiff City on loan in 2014 and has found the net nine times in 19 Premier League games so far, is also expected to miss Saturday’s tie with 17th-placed Burnley.

His consistent form for the South London outfit has seen him linked to a number of Premier League clubs but the Eagles have managed to hold on to him.

On the international scene, the forward is also a key member of Elephants and has made 18 appearances for the West African country since his debut in 2017.

He has been playing a significant role in his side’s quest to qualify for the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon.