Wilfried Zaha committed his long-term future to Crystal Palace FC last night, coinciding perfectly with a beautiful compilation of the winger’s best moments from the 2016-17 campaign.
Ridiculously, the video made its way online just 90 minutes before the club officially announced that Zaha had put pen to paper on a five-year contract extension, providing a wonderful moment of symmetry for supporters who were riding a wave of euphoria following the news.
The academy graduate has always been adored by regular visitors to Selhurst Park but over the course of the last year, his performances have blown away any nagging doubts about his supposed lack of “end product”. Taking the club on his shoulders, he has scored and assisted a combined 16 goals in red and blue last term, leaving his numerous critics looking rather silly.
In truth, his contribution to Palace’s final victory of the season at home to Hull City can be held up as the perfect embodiment of his importance to the club. Needing to avoid defeat to secure survival, the winger took matters into his own hands just two minutes after kick-off, racing onto a missed clearance from Andrea Ranocchia before slotting the Eagles into an early lead that they would not relinquish.
Play-off semi finals, play-off finals, relegation six-pointers, he’s always been the man who grabs the bull by the horns and steps up for us in our moment of need. Far from the lazy stereotypes of him struggling to fit in on the biggest of stages whilst at Manchester United, he has shown himself to be the ultimate big game player whilst wearing our colours; a fact that the above video proves perfectly.