April 21, 2021

Zaha and Ayew lead African quartet as Crystal Palace start pre-season

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The Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana internationals were part of the squad which trained on Monday as the Eagles commenced preparations for the new season

Ghana international Jordan Ayew led a quartet of African players who took part in Crystal Palace’s pre-season commencement.

His compatriot Jeffrey Schlupp, Cote d’Ivoire attacking sensation Wilfried Zaha as well as Senegal’s midfield Cheikhou Kouyate, complete a list of Africans who took part in Monday’s training session.

The club’s training ground remains under severe Covid-19 protocols, including the players and staff parking Kent Cricket’s training ground due to the amplified capacity that the venue’s car park offers to aid social distancing.

Also, at Monday’s session were summer signing Nathan Ferguson, Nya Kirby, John-Kymani Gordon, Brandon Pierrick alongside Connor Wickham and Jaroslaw Jach who returned from their respective loan spells.

Roy Hodgson’s men will face Danish elite division outfit Brondby IF at Selhurst Park on September 5, in an encounter that will be played behind closed doors. Niels Frederiksen’s side finished fourth in the Superliga at the end of 2019-20 season.

On their own part, Palace ended last season’s campaign with 43 points from 38 games to finish 14th in the English topflight despite looking bright for a place in Europe before the lockdown caused by coronavirus.

Ghana’s Ayew capped off an impressive campaign to be crowned Crystal Palace Player of the Season after seeing off competition from Vicente Guaita and former Chelsea star Gary Cahill.

He was also named the Players’ Player of the Season while his 87th-minute winning strike against West Ham United back in October was picked as Goal of the Season.

27-year-old Zaha featured in 38 games for Hodgson’s team with four goals to show for his contributions.