Why Palace are perfect for Ivorian Zaha

The Premier League Show - Wilfried Zaha

You can see Gabby Logan’s in-depth interview with Crystal Palace forward Wilfried Zaha on The Premier League Show at 22:00 BST on Thursday on BBC Two and the BBC Sport website.

From talking to Wilfried Zaha, it is clear he needs to feel wanted to be at his best – so he is probably at the perfect club in Crystal Palace.

The Eagles, without a Premier League point or even a goal after seven games, are desperate for a bit of Zaha’s magic to kick-start their season on Saturday, if he recovers from his knee injury in time to face Chelsea.

After sitting down with Zaha for this week’s Premier League Show, I can understand why Selhurst Park is the right place for that to happen.

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Wilfried Zaha is feeling ‘the love’ from Palace fans

Zaha grew up down the road from the stadium after moving to England at the age of four, and told me how at first his family would wonder what was happening when the floodlights came on for night matches.

A few years later he was running out on to the pitch to play under those same lights for Palace, which is an amazing story in itself.

The message that really cuts through, however, is his connection with the Palace fans.

That started when he would get the bus home from matches after breaking into the first-team as a teenager and loved the attention he would get from supporters who wanted to talk to him.

It continued when they welcomed him back to Palace in 2015 after his big move to Manchester United did not work out, and made him feel good about himself again.

Behind the mask – smiles, not sullenness