Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha achieved another milestone in his illustrious career

Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha achieved another milestone in his illustrious career

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30 Apr 2022
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During Saturday’s fixture against Southampton at the St. Mary’s Stadium, the Cote d’Ivoire international replaced Jean-Philippe Mateta in the 64th minute with scores tied at 1-1.

Zaha has earned his 274th cap in the English top-flight

Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha achieved another milestone in his illustrious career as he became the third most-capped African in Premier League history. During Saturday’s fixture against Southampton at the St. Mary’s Stadium, the Cote d’Ivoire international replaced Jean-Philippe Mateta in the 64th minute with scores tied at 1-1. In the process, Zaha earned his 274th cap in the English top-flight, moving him ahead of Arsenal and Nigeria’s great Nwankwo Kanu. The former Manchester United player had levelled the two-time African Player of the Year’s mark with his involvement against Leeds United on April 25. The lanky striker accrued that number during a spell that saw him represent Arsenal, West Bromwich Albion and Portsmouth during his 13-year stay in England.

Wilfried is expected to eclipse Toure’s mark

Even at that laudable feat, Kolo Toure and Shola Ameobi remain the only Africans to have played more games in the competition. While former Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City defender Toure accrued 353 caps, Newcastle United icon Ameobi occupies the second spot with 298 matches under his belt. Should Zaha remain in the Premier League in the 2022-23 campaign, he is expected to eclipse Toure’s mark, which he achieved during his spells at Arsenal, Manchester City and Liverpool. Already, Zaha is the player who have suffered the most fouls in the competition’s history. The 29-year-old is fourth on Crystal Palace’s all-time appearance makers’ list at Selhurst Park, with only Jim Cannon, Terry Long and Albert Harry ahead. So far in the 2021-22 campaign, he boasts of 11 goals in 28 league appearances, which is his personal best in a single season since he made his professional debut in 2010.

 

Due to his impressive run so far, rumours resurfaced that the African star might be heading to Arsenal next season, a claim manager Patrick Vieira rubbished. “He has been linked after the Arsenal game?! There is no truth about that,” the Frenchman was quoted by Metro. “I believe Wilfried Zaha is an important player for the team, for the football club; he is a perfect inspiration for the young players that we have. He knows this club better than anybody else, and when he is performing like that, you know you only want to keep your best players. And he is one of them.”

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