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By Mark Wyatt

Patrick Vieira says he’d love to keep Wilfried Zaha at Crystal Palace past this season and thinks the winger can still take his game to another level.

Zaha has one year left on his deal at Selhurst Park and is yet to put pen to paper on an extension, meaning Palace would risk losing him on a free next summer were his stance to remain firm. The situation has left many speculating whether the Ivorian international will finally leave his boyhood club for good this year having flirted with a potential exit in previous seasons.

Palace’s stance has always been clear with their winger, with the club only entertaining offers that matched their valuation of Zaha’s talent and his importance to the team. His input has been on show for all to see once again this season, with his 14 goals in all competitions a career-best return that also puts him top of the scoring charts for Palace for the second season running.

READ MORE: Steve Parish's Michael Olise contract admission and thoughts on underrated Crystal Palace player

Vieira was asked in his pre-match press conference on Friday afternoon whether he’d given much thought to whether Zaha would be a Crystal Palace player next season, to which the Frenchman said: “When you talk about Crystal Palace you talk about Wilfried Zaha. He's been at this club and he's been doing fantastically well. And again as a manager, of course, I would love to keep him but he needs to want to be here.

“This season I think he showed to everybody what this football club means to him because he's been performing well and scoring goals. I believe that he can still take himself to a different level and help the team to grow.”

Vieira has previously challenged Zaha to score more goals for Palace, saying after Palace’s 2-1 win at Southampton earlier this month that he thought the winger should be hitting 20 goals each season with the number of chances his team create. Glenn Murray was the last player to score more than 20 goals in a season for Palace when he smashed in 31 during the club’s promotion-winning season in 2012/13.

“He should be higher than that,” Vieira said at St Mary’s when asked about Zaha’s record goal tally. “We bring [in] some players around [him] and that improves Wilfried’s ability to score goals as well.

“When you create chances [as a team], he will have chances to score those goals. He’s always been scoring goals. If we play the way we played and we create the chances, he will definitely score goals. I believe that he’s got the ability and quality to score around 20 goals, to be honest with you.”

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