African All Stars

Crystal Palace's Zaha has talent for Premier League Hall of Fame recognition – Vieira

12:13 PM WAT 22/04/2022
Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha.
The former Arsenal captain picks the 29-year-old Ivory Coast star among the players who deserve to be recognised

Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira believes winger Wilfried Zaha deserves recognition in the Premier League Hall of Fame in the near future.

The former Arsenal legend was recently inducted into the Hall of Fame alongside former Palace striker Ian Wright. Meanwhile, former Ivory Coast captain Didier Drogba became the second former Chelsea star to be inducted into the Premier League Hall of Fame, after Frank Lampard.

The Hall of Fame aims to recognise and celebrate the exceptional skill and talent of individuals who have graced the Premier League. Speaking after receiving his award, Vieira names the 29-year-old Zaha as a candidate, insisting what he is currently doing will be recognised one day.

“I will have to mention Wilfried Zaha from Crystal Palace. Because he has the talent - I have to mention Wilfried because working with him every day I see his talent,” Vieira said as quoted by the club’s official website.

“He is around 28/29 and I hope what he’s doing will be recognised one day.”

Zaha, who currently is enjoying great form with Palace, is ranked eighth in the Premier League goalscoring charts with a tally of 11 goals this campaign, as well as being the team's top league scorer.

On his individual recognition, Vieira, who won three top-flight titles during 11 seasons with Arsenal, helping the Gunners win the league in 1997-98, his second season at the club, said it was a privilege.

“It is a privilege, to be honest. Because reminding myself, growing up in Senegal, moving to France when I was eight or nine years old, and having this dream to be a footballer; I really enjoyed playing with friends. Today I’m sitting in a room with so many legends,” Vieira continued.

“I’ve been inspired by people to work hard and be where I am today. Hopefully, I can inspire other players to be who they want to be.

“It makes you really happy, because when you’re a player you’re making sacrifices to try to be as good as you can. When at the end of your career you have this kind of recognition it makes you proud, makes you feel really good about yourself. Making all these sacrifices, when you see the end of it it makes you really happy about yourself.”

Zaha’s countryman Drogba was recognised for a stellar career after representing the Blues for nine seasons between 2004 and 2015, earning a reputation as one of the league’s most dangerous strikers capable of destroying any defence on his day.

He amassed 104 goals in 254 league appearances for the Stamford Bridge side.