Speak to any Crystal Palace fan and they’ll tell you that the prolonged absence of Wilfried Zaha from our starting XI has had a hugely detrimental impact upon our chances of picking up Premier League points since August but now, there is finally a shard of light at the end of the tunnel.
— Wilfried Zaha (@wilfriedzaha) September 27, 2017
After starting during our opening game of the season at home to Huddersfield, Wilfried was seen leaving the ground with protective wrapping around his right leg, following a game in which he had been routinely kicked by the Terriers.
In truth, a prolonged lay-off has been long overdue for Zaha, given the rough treatment he is subjected to by the opposition from week to week, with this recent spell on the sidelines hopefully providing a sign to officials that he needs a greater level of protection within games. Where before he had been known to lose his cool, Wilf is now used to defenders attempting to cut him in half, not that he should be forced to accept a regular kicking as a consequence of his play.
Throughout his rehabilitation both the player and Palace’s coaching staff have said that our home game against Chelsea in a little over two weeks time is the realistic target for his return to action but given the wording of the tweet attached above, one of two of the Eagles faithful are crossing fingers and toes in the hope of seeing him make at a cameo role at Old Trafford this Saturday.
In reality, he is likely to have lost too much match sharpness to make a comeback so quickly but as we have all learned over the years, it’s never wise to write Wilf off. I appreciate that one player cannot be relied upon to transform our ailing form alone but in Zaha, Palace have been missing their ultimate talisman, the thought of having him back amongst the squad truly is music to my ears.
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