African All Stars

Zaha: Crystal Palace's Vieira considering new position for Ivory Coast star

22:31 EAT 06/05/2022
Patrick Vieira, Wilfried Zaha — Crystal Palace 2021-22
The tactician believes the forward can excel when deployed as a central striker for the Eagles

Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira has discussed why he is considering a new position for Ivory Coast international Wilfried Zaha.

The Ivorian, at times, has been fielded as a central striker this season, and the French tactician believes the star can be convinced to change positions.

"I have to convince him and that will take time, but that is a position that I believe he can play," Vieira explained, as quoted by the club’s official website.

"He’s really strong at holding the ball, he is capable of linking the game and he can drop in the midfield."

The former Arsenal and Manchester City midfielder also revealed that he has already had talks with the forward regarding his future plans for him.

"I believe this is a position that he can excel in for us. We’ve had a couple of conversations about that," he added. "He doesn’t say no, but it takes him time to buy into it.

"Wilfried loves football. You put him on the right and he will complain, but he will still do the job. Put him up front and he will complain, but he will still do the job."

With a total of 12 goals this season, Zaha is currently ranked joint seventh in the Premier League goalscoring table and he is also the team's top league scorer.

Meanwhile, Vieira praised the impact Crystal Palace academy products like Tyrick Mitchell have had this season.

"We knew that we had a couple of challenges with young players coming through," he added. "I’m not going to lie to you: I’m satisfied and really happy with where we are on the table, but I’m more satisfied with the performance that we had.

"[I’m] satisfied as well with how those young players performed this season. Of course, it’s not finished yet, and we want to finish the league well."

Furthermore, he hinted that some of the young players would get more minutes in the remaining games.

"Of course, there are some young players that have been with us a couple of times this season that will get involved in the last couple of games we have," the tactician concluded.

"I always have to put a strong team out to win football matches. Yes, I will give some opportunities to some young players, but they will have to be surrounded by some players that will allow them to perform."

Palace will host Watford in a top flight clash on Saturday.