Hodgson: How Zaha can emulate Le Tissier at Palace

Matt Stead
during the Premier League match between Fulham FC and Crystal Palace at Craven Cottage on August 11, 2018 in London, United Kingdom.

Wilfried Zaha can emulate Matt Le Tissier’s Southampton status and become a Crystal Palace “icon”, according to Roy Hodgson.

Eagles boss Hodgson believes there is more to fulfilling career promise than lifting top trophies, citing Le Tissier’s regard as a Southampton all-time great as sufficient proof.

In-demand Ivory Coast forward Zaha signed a new five-year Palace deal this week, with the Croydon men hoping to have once again warded off a host of circling suitors.

And now Hodgson believes the 25-year-old has what it takes to mirror the impact of Le Tissier, who struck 100 goals in 270 Premier League appearances for Southampton between 1986 and 2002.

Asked if Zaha has the credentials to become Palace’s answer to the ex-Saints star, Hodgson said: “I have an enormous respect for Matt Le Tissier.

“That would have been a career I’d have been unbelievably proud of, to have a career at one club and to be as much of an icon and to be as well loved and as well respected at that club as he is, and furthermore to have the respect of everyone in football.

“I don’t know anyone in football who has ever said anything other than that Matt Le Tissier was a fantastic player, fantastic person, a fantastic club servant.

“That is not such a bad thing to have people say about you when your career is over. I would have been very happy with that.”