Yannick Bolasie on Crystal Palace ‘regrets’ for Wilfried Zaha... and a potential return to Selhurst Park

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<p>Zaha and Bolasie in action for Palace</p> (Getty Images)

Zaha and Bolasie in action for Palace

(Getty Images)

Yannick Bolasie says Wilfried Zaha would retire with “regrets” if he does not get a move away from Crystal Palace in the near future.

Former Palace winger Bolasie, who terrorised defences in the Championship and Premier League on the opposite flank before making his own big-money move to Everton in 2016, remains one of Zaha's closest friends.

Palace chairman Steve Parish has always said he would never stand in the way of Zaha - who has time and again reiterated his desire to test himself at the highest level - leaving the club, so long as the deal suits the south Londoners.

While the 28-year-old has a deep connection to Palace, he retains a significant desire to land a move to a Champions League club.

Bolasie is now out of contract after leaving Everton but has been revisiting his time at Palace for the new documentary ‘When Eagles Dare’, which is available to watch on Amazon Prime Video from June 4.

Having watched Zaha talk about his connection to the club in the documentary series, Bolasie told Standard Sport when asked if he could see the winger staying at Palace for good: "If I'm being brutally honest obviously, and I don't talk for Wilf, but I think with Wilf with his talent and his ability and stuff I think… he loves Palace with all of his heart, but if he did end up seeing out his career at Palace, then in his head he would have some regrets as a player who wants to see himself at the highest level possible.

"No offence to anyone at Palace because Palace are the team that made him and me, but knowing Wilf and what he is like he would have regrets."

After struggles with injury at Goodison Park, Bolaise is re-energised and on the hunt for a new club this summer. Things did not work out on the blue side of Merseyside, and now the 32-year-old wants to be back at a club like Palace - somewhere he can simply enjoy himself.

"100 per cent," said Bolasie. "It has to be me enjoying myself.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

"Because now obviously, people would have seen me play but technically I haven't played football regularly up until January 28 when I started playing at Middlesborough, I hadn't played from March. You can train and train as much as you want, but at the end of the day [you] have to show in a game.

"I've managed to do that so now I just said no, actually, that's me shaking off the cobwebs and I feel good, because obviously I felt like I lost two-and-a-half years of my career really just on the injury.

“I'm still feeling nice and fresh and the main thing now is to make sure I'm in a good sporting project and go and enjoy myself. That's what football is all about, it can come to a standstill, very very soon and very, very quick."

Bolasie's eyes light up when the question of one day returning to Palace is raised, something he feels would bring momentum back to his career like no other club - but there is a feel that his time for a return has passed.

"I don’t know if I’m honest," he said. "For me, that would be great. That kind of stuff there is a new energy, it would be a new type of energy that would get released throughout my whole body, soul and mind. Just because what has happened and transpired over the years, where I’ve been at, that would release a whole load of energy."

Whether a return is on the cards or not, Bolasie can forever be proud at the part he played in making Palace what they are today.

As ‘When Eagles Dare’, which starts with the club in dire straits before CPFC 2010 complete their takeover, details, things could have been very different. The club are now preparing for an unprecedented ninth consecutive season in the Premier League, and Bolasie knows he played his part.

"It’s definitely a proud thing," he added.

"Previously Palace always used to get relegated straight after being promoted so staying up was a great achievement.

“There’s a picture of us after the game against West Ham when we lined up at the end and it was an amazing moment."

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