Townsend – Zaha remains committed

Crystal Palace
Crystal Palace face a tougher fight to keep hold of winger Wilfried Zaha, with Everton now interested in him this summer.

Andros Townsend says winger Wilfried Zaha is still committed to the cause at Crystal Palace despite missing out on a summer move.

The Ivory Coast international was continuously linked with a move away from Selhurst Park with Arsenal the early favourites to sign him.

As the window reached its conclusion, Everton soon become the main suitors as Arsenal splashed the cash to sign Nicolas Pepe from Lille.

Despite several bids, Everton failed in their pursuit of Zaha and the former Manchester United man got to see his potential employers in the flesh on Saturday.

The points were shared in a 0-0 draw at Selhurst Park as Toffees keeper Jordan Pickford made two crucial saves to help his side travel north with a point.

Zaha was expected to miss the game but Palace boss Roy Hodgson named him on the bench last weekend. Despite handing a transfer request in, Zaha was given a huge round of applause as he entered the field of play.

He was unable to score during his 25-minute cameo appearance but Townsend says his team-mate is still committed to the club.

Zaha’s form helped the Eagles avoid the drop last season and Townsend believes he will be just as important this time around.

He told Sky Sports: “If you know Wilf on a day to day, he is not one to throw his toys out of the pram. Once he gets on the field, he is professional.

“He is a player who deserves to be playing at the very highest level: Premier League, Champions League, World Cups. We are just lucky we have still got him. We are thankful for however long we have him in our team. We should appreciate a player of his ability.”

Palace will now hope Zaha can find his rhythm and help them move up the Premier League table after a decent start to the campaign. The 26-year-old started his career at Palace and scored 12 goals in 110 games before joining Manchester United.

He made another 32 appearances during two loan spells at Palace before returning permanently in 2015. He has since scored 31 goals in 148 games for the club but the Palace board will face another fight to keep him in January.

Everton are likely to come calling again and Palace fans face an anxious wait to see if they can keep hold of their main asset.