Michael Bridge doesn’t think that Crystal Palace are a one-man team anymore.
Under Roy Hodgson, the Sky Sports reporter thought that the Eagles were heavily reliant on Wilfried Zaha, who was their top goalscorer last season and has scored 41 Premier League goals in the last five seasons.
Christian Benteke has scored 10 fewer during that period and plays further forward than the former Manchester United wide man.
However, after some impressive summer recruitment, Bridge thinks that times are changing at Selhurst Park and believes that the 28-year-old is now just part of a talented crop of attacking players.
What did Bridge say?
He told GIVEMESPORT: “Under Hodgson, I’d say they were a one-man team with Wilfried Zaha, but I would just put Zaha in a bracket of a few players that impress me at Palace.”
How has Zaha performed this season?
He struggled in Palace’s opening three games, although that was possibly more down to their tough fixture list, which included Chelsea and West Ham away, rather than his own performances.
However, Zaha burst into life with an exhilarating performance against Tottenham when he scored his first goal of the season from the penalty spot before setting up Odsonne Edouard’s first goal for the club minutes later.
Zaha then continued his brilliant record against Brighton by scoring his fifth in the Premier League and eighth in total in 14 appearances against the Seagulls from the penalty spot. Unfortunately for the Palace winger, Neal Maupay’s last-gasp equaliser meant it wasn’t enough for another three points.
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But his spot-kick was his third goal involvement this season, meaning he’s directly contributed to 50 percent of their league goals under Patrick Vieira.
Are Palace still as reliant on Zaha?
Unless something changes drastically, Zaha will always be Palace’s talisman and most important player whilst he’s at the club.
But summer signings Conor Gallagher and Odsonne Edouard have already shown they’re capable of chipping in with goals and assists, which should take the pressure off Zaha.
With the exciting Eberechi Eze still to return and Michael Olise yet to start in the Premier League, there’s reason to believe that as Bridge stated, Zaha, valued at £40.5m by Transfermarkt, is just one of several talented players at Selhurst Park rather just out on his own.