Andros Townsend suggests Crystal Palace were lucky to keep Wilfried Zaha after he was linked with a move away all summer.
The 26-year-old submitted a transfer request on deadline day to force through a move and was a target for both Arsenal and Everton.
However, Palace managed to retain the services of the Ivory Coast international, at least until January.
Zaha was given a warm reception by the Selhurst Park crowd, as he came on for the final 25 minutes on the opening weekend, coincidentally against Everton in a 0-0 draw.
Townsend believes the news that Zaha is still with Palace is a major boost for all.
“It is massive Wilf is still here,” he said.
“Any side in the Premier League would like him. The fact we are able to keep him again is great for the club. It gave everyone a big boost once the window closed.
“You saw that extra enthusiasm and energy in our performance. Hopefully we can build on this performance and have a positive start to the season.
“It has been the same ever since I have been here. He has been the difference for us whether it has been fighting relegation or going for the top 10.
“You saw when he came on he gave us an extra dimension. He is a massively important player for us. Any club in the Premier League would be lucky to have a player of his ability.”
Zaha, who was in action during the summer on African Cup of Nations duty, only returned to training on Monday after having three weeks off.
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The former Manchester United star previously stated he wanted to leave the Eagles to pursue Champions League football and Townsend believes Zaha deserves to play at the highest level.
He added: “He loves his football, he loves Crystal Palace. You saw on social media, he loves playing football – whether it is in his back garden practising with his dad or his cousins or his brother.
“There was no doubt he was going to come here and put the effort in today and for the rest of the season.
“If you know Wilf on a day to day, he is not one to throw his toys out of the pram. Once he gets on the field, he is professional.
“He is a player who deserves to be playing at the very highest level: Premier League, Champions League, World Cups.
“We are just lucky we have still got him. We are thankful for however long we have him in our team. We should appreciate a player of his ability.”