Sam Allardyce wants Steve Parish to secure Tottenham target Wilfried Zaha's Crystal Palace future

James Benge
Evening Standard
Getty Images
Getty Images

Sam Allardyce wants Crystal Palace chairman Steve Parish to tie Wilfried Zaha down to the Eagles after the winger continued his fine form this season in a 1-0 victory over Watford.

In a game lacking much semblance of quality Zaha was the stand-out performer, as he often has been for Palace in their battle against relegation this season.

Zaha was the subject of a £14million bid from Tottenham during the summer transfer window and since their interest first crystallised the 24-year-old has not signed an extension to a contract that expires in 2020, with his £35,000-a-week terms significantly lower than many of his contemporaries in the Palace squad.

“That’s the chairman’s responsibility,” Allardyce said to questions over Palace’s ability to retain Zaha.

“Spurs were always mentioned because agents or somebody decided to stir the pot. We all know who stirs the pot, behind the scenes, who do it, even though they deny it, but we know they do it.”

The Ivory Coast international has been a shining light for Palace and this season Zaha has brought the end product supporters had demanded from the mercurial winger, contributing five goals and eight assists in 25 league games.

His importance to Palace was evident in Watford’s approach to quelling Zaha as he was repeatedly fouled by opponents. Allardyce wants to see more done by referees to protect his star man.

“He gets terrible treatment off the opposition because he's so skilful,” Allardyce said. “Maybe he needs a bit more protection from the referees.

“He's got to realise that's down to his genius ability that these lads can't cope, and because they can't cope they've got to end up fouling him. He can riddle past two or three, his feet are that good.

“He gets kicked as much as [Eden] Hazard. Keep going Wilf, it's a compliment to you when people can't cope with your ability and have to foul you.

“Wilf, smile. Sometimes he doesn't smile enough because he doesn't realise how important this game is and how enjoyable it is. Sometimes he looks a bit miserable so I say, 'Wilf, come on lad, you're the luckiest'.”

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