Fulham's Callum Chambers and Crystal Palace's Wilfried Zaha battle for the ball
Monday Aug 20, 2018. 09:15
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has praised Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha, saying the club’s new contract with the Ivorian is like a “spectacular transfer”.
The Elephants attacker was consistently linked with a move away from Selhurst Park through the off-season, but last week put an end to such speculation by signing a new-and-improved contract with the Eagles which runs to 2023.
Palace’s work in the transfer market has included the signings of Cheikhou Kouyate, Max Meyer and Jordan Ayew, but Klopp says the new deal with Zaha is their best piece of business.
"There were no spectacular signings but if you want you can see Zaha as a spectacular transfer," said the German manager ahead of his team’s trip to London to face Palace in a Premier League clash tonight.
"I think they are pretty happy that Wilfried signed a new contract. He's very important and last year was probably the best example of that."
Zaha is likely to be partnered in Palace's attack by former Liverpool striker Christian Benteke, who was sold by Klopp in 2016. The Reds manager is well aware of the threat posed by the Belgian forward, even if he has struggled for goals in the past year or so.
"Everybody who thinks about writing Benteke off makes a big mistake, because his obvious skills are always there," Klopp said.
"Even if he didn't score too often last season, he always has opportunities. It's a big challenge to defend set-pieces when Christian is around.
"He will score goals this season, there's no doubt about that."