'Zaha still hopes a big club will take him from us' - Hodgson hopeful of keeping Arsenal-linked winger at Palace


Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson says that he hopes that he can keep hold of Wilfried Zaha yet again this season, although the manager acknowledged that he believes the forward is searching for a move to a bigger club.

The Ivorian star has been heavily linked with a move to Arsenal in recent seasons but, to date, no club has been able to convince Palace to agree to a sale.

The Gunners reportedly offered a fee around £40 million ($51m) offer for the forward, with Palace refusing to sanction a deal for that price.

Zaha has been a virtual ever-present for Palace since rejoining the club on loan in 2014, and then permanently one year later, scoring 40 goals across 220 appearances at Selhurst Park.

The former Manchester United man kickstarted Palace's new season with a goal on Saturday, leading the way in a 1-0 win over Southampton.

And Hodgson says that he wants to ensure that Zaha continues to star for Palace for an extended period of time, even if he understands that it may not necessarily be what the forward wants for himself as big clubs continue to swirl.

"Wilf [Zaha] showed a lot of composure to take the chance," Hodgson said on Saturday following the victory over Southampton. "He made it look easy.

"He thinks it would be nice if some club came in and paid the market price. Let’s see what transpires, for me hopefully nothing.

"I think he still hopes a big club comes in and takes him from us."

Zaha nearly scored a second for Palace on Saturday, only to see the goal ruled out for an offside call in the build-up.

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After scoring 10 goals during the 2018-19 season, Zaha had a bit of a down year last campaign, only scoring four times while starting each of Crystal Palace's Premier League games.

Following Saturday's win, Palace will visit Bournemouth on Tuesday in the second round of the Carabao Cup.

After that, they'll look ahead to a difficult visit to Old Trafford, as Zaha, Hodgson and Palace will face off with Manchester United in their second match of the Premier League season.