By 90Min
February 07, 2018

Former Crystal Palace boss Frank de Boer has amusingly compared Eagles talisman Wilfried Zaha to Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi.

The Dutchman - who lasted just 77 days as Palace boss early in the season - has reflected on his short tenure at Selhurst Park; which saw him lead to side out in four Premier League games and one Carabao Cup tie.

While disputing common claims that his footballing philosophy was overly ambitious and was hindering the side, he says one factor was key in Palace's early season troubles.

"We failed to make a good start for sure," he told Sport Express.

"I understand we needed to keep the club in the Premier League after they invested in the squad, but only after five games, I didn't think I deserved to get sacked.

"When the things were going bad, they just decided to change the manager, which resulted in my sacking... I think we played better than the opponents most of the time."

He maintains that had Zaha been fit, he would've been far more successful in his time at Palace, claiming:

"I lost my best player in [Wilfried] Zaha in the very first week [against Huddersfield Town], so his injury was our main problem - he is a real Messi."

Palace are once again without the Ivorian in the upcoming weeks; with Zaha reportedly seeing a specialist on Tuesday regarding a knee injury expected to keep him sidelined for the next few games.

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