Palace boss Vieira believes Zaha will be proud of achievements at the club

Palace boss Vieira believes Zaha will be proud of achievements at the club

Patrick Vieira feels Wilfried Zaha will only fully appreciate how special his achievements at Crystal Palace have been once his playing career is over.

The Ivory Coast international moved to within one goal of 50 in the Premier League for the Eagles when he struck in Monday's 1-1 draw with Brighton.

Another goal for the Palace academy graduate against Leicester on Sunday will make him the first player in the club's history to find the net on 50 occasions in the top flight.

Zaha, who has made 400 appearances for the south Londoners, has repeatedly been linked with a move away from Selhurst Park but looks to be at his happiest and relishing a new lease of life under his new manager.

Vieira said: 'I think this is something that I am sure he will be proud of after his career. When you become a top player and a respected player in a football club, it is something that makes you proud about yourself.

'Wilfried has a really good and strong relationship with the football club and the fans. The fans love him and he loves the fans.

'He loves being at this football club. I think he will realise how important it is when the career is finished. This is when you will realise what you have been doing for a football club and how special it is.'

Zaha will line up to face Leicester on Sunday but Vieira could make further adjustments to his front three having handed Odsonne Edouard a full debut against Brighton.

Jordan Ayew was guilty of missing an excellent chance to wrap up the points on Monday, firing wide with only Robert Sanchez to beat to extend his run without a goal to 35 games.

If Ayew is taken out of the XI, summer signing Michael Olise could be given a full debut and Vieira says the teenager from Reading is ready for the Premier League after cameos in matches with Tottenham and Liverpool.

Vieira added: 'What is really interesting with Michael is he can play in different positions. When he came on at Liverpool, he was a number 10 and was quite good. He can also play on the right-hand side and come in with his left foot.

'He needed time to adapt to a new club and time to adapt to the tempo and physicality of the Premier League but he is ready. He will get more and more involved through the season and is ready to challenge the front players.'
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