11 Years In The Making: Wilfried Zaha To Make 400th Appearance In Red And Blue

Wilfried Zaha is set to make his 400th appearance for Crystal Palace, in front of a packed Selhurst Park against Brighton on Monday.

The Croydon born winger made his first appearance for the Eagles over 11 years ago, in that time cementing himself as the greatest ever to do it in red and blue.

He’ll join an exclusive club including the likes of Julian Speroni and Jim Cannon.

The Ivorian winger has had some monumental moments throughout his tenure in Palace’s attack, from rocketing the ball into the back of Brighton’s net to send the Eagles racing into the play-off finals to firing home a last-minute equaliser against West Ham electrifying Selhurst Park in the process.

Zaha can be credited with almost single-handedly keeping the South London club in the top flight during their eight-year stint in the division, in that time becoming Palace’s highest scorer in Premier League history with 48 goals.

Every opposition fan’s waking nightmare, the 28-year-old has averaged over 3.8 successful dribbles per 90 since reaching the pinnacle of English football.

Supporters relish his speed, intensity, and flair; with it, at least in previous seasons, often emerging from an otherwise mundane game.

Always leaving everything on the pitch, the winger’s emotion and desire is always clear to see, wanting to give something back to the fans that gave him so much.

Speaking to TalkSPORT in a recent interview, Zaha said: “I’ve been at Palace for such a long time, and we’ve been through everything.

“I feel like they are the only fans that back you through literally everything, even when you are in bad form they remember your good performances.

“Winning a trophy for the club will be massive, because we owe it to the fans.”

The 2016 FA Cup final is the closest Zaha has got to making that dream a reality in the 399 games he has played in Red and Blue.

Whether a trophy ever gets paraded around Selhurst Park with Zaha at the helm or not, the winger will forever be one of the greats in SE25.

Vieira’s new style of play coupled with the more expansive acquisitions feels like a reward for the years of service Zaha has given the club.

In the defensive systems of old, the Ivorian had the burden of dragging the team to uninspiring results and finishes. However, now with proven finishers and highly skilled technical players around him he can share the pressure whilst continuing to dazzle the Palace faithful.

Win, lose or draw against Brighton, this coming match will be a special one for Wilfried Zaha and every Palace fan watching.

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