Crystal Palace have enjoyed seven years with Wilfried Zaha as the star of the show at Selhurst Park, however, his reign as the face of the team could soon come to an end, and Patrick Vieira will need to prepare for the reality that the player could be gone this time next year.
The impressive forward who has tallied up 435 appearances, 87 goals and 73 assists for the team will be out of contract in June 2023 and the Ivory Coast international will be in a position to speak with foreign clubs about his future come January.
Nevertheless, the powers at Palace are continuing their efforts to retain the player’s services but with the likes of Arsenal and Chelsea expressing an interest over the summer, it is very possible that the club will be unable to offer something more tempting to stay.
As a result, Vieira must prepare for the worst outcome and it could actually be a blessing in disguise for Palace as they can now offer the opportunity to a young rising star to prove himself in the forward line.
One player who has been capturing a lot of attention since his loan move to Charlton Athletic is Jesurun Rak-Sakyi, a talented left winger who was captured by the club in 2019 from Chelsea’s infamous youth academy that has recently produced the likes of Declan Rice, Mason Mount, Conor Gallagher, Reece James and many more.
The 19-year-old starlet has been dubbed “wonderful” and a “throwback” by Ben Garner, with the Charlton manager in awe of the talent and quality Rak-Sakyi has already displayed:
“His standout attribute is his wonderful balance and ability to change direction. He’s a little bit of a throwback in some ways — you go back to people like George Best who can beat people without moving the ball. Jes can do that.”
Last season the youngster was the top-scorer in the Premier League 2 with 18 goals as well as delivering five assists, and is showing no signs of slowing down as he is already making a great impression in League One with Palace’s south London neighbours and bitter rivals Charlton.
Rak-Sakyi has already scored two goals and completed two assists in six appearances, with a goal contribution every 121 minutes played and there is no doubt that Vieira will be keeping a close eye on the young Palace talent over his season-long loan spell.
After securing a new five-year deal at Crystal Palace before heading on loan in August, if the young attacking threat continues to flourish he will certainly put the Palace boss’ mind at rest in terms of Zaha’s future, as he could be the perfect heir to succeed the 29-year-old in his position.
With that being said, it remains to be seen how well Rak-Sakyi will do on loan and whether he will become a trusted starter next season for the Eagles but the future is certainly looking bright for the youngster who is surely one player that supporters will be keeping tabs on over the season ahead.