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Newcastle: Pundit suggests Magpies should sign Wilfried Zaha

Newcastle United should make an audacious move for Crystal Palace talisman Wilfried Zaha, according to pundit Rio Ferdinand.

What’s the word?

Speaking on his FIVE Youtube channel, the Manchester United legend suggested that the Magpies should try and sign the 29-year-old in the near future, with the Ivory Coast international potentially a possible replacement for Allan Saint-Maximin at St James’ Park.

Asked if the northeast side should swoop for the Eagles’ winger, the former England defender stated:

“Yes! All day. If I’m Newcastle, I’d buy him straight up. I’ll take him and I’d sell Saint-Maximin. Or I’d have them both. He scores more than Saint-Maximin.

“I think Wilfried Zaha at Newcastle would be a problem.”

The 26-cap menace – who briefly played alongside Ferdinand at Old Trafford – faces an uncertain future at Selhurst Park with his current deal set to expire at the end of the season, having notably been linked with a move to fellow Premier League side Chelsea over the summer.

Big Saint-Maximin upgrade

As alluded to above, the arrival of Zaha in Eddie Howe’s side could well see the Tynesiders opt to move on cult hero Saint-Maximin, with the Frenchman – who was tipped for an exit in the recent window – having somewhat struggled to deliver the goods on a regular basis since his arrival from Nice in 2019.

For all the 25-year-old’s undoubted flair and creative ability, that entertaining talent has not always come hand in hand with an end product, with the scintillating forward having scored just 12 goals and provided 16 assists in 93 top-flight games to date.

That tally includes just one goal from seven league outings this season, with the one-time Monaco man having frustratingly been struck down by injury so far this term, with that having seemingly been the story of his time in England thus far.

The 5 foot 8 winger’s best goal return for the club came last season as he hit five goals in 35 league appearances, albeit with that record pailing in comparison to the aforementioned Zaha, with the Palace sensation having already scored six times in just 12 league games this season.

The £28m-rated ace – who hit career-best figures of 14 Premier League goals last term – has regularly made an impact at the elite level over the years, with 67 goals and 29 assists in 290 games in the top tier to date.

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Newcastle United striker Callum Wilson celebrates with Joelinton

How many 2021/22 Premier League goals did Newcastle score?

While Saint-Maximin no doubt offers a unique asset as a result of his dribbling prowess – ranking in the top 1% in that regard in Europe – his potential replacement also provides real quality with his ball-carrying knack, as the £130k-per-week titan ranks highest in the division for total chance creating carries (23), ensuring there is end product to match his devastating runs from deep.

The “unplayable” maverick – as dubbed by talkSPORT pundit Darren Ambrose – would be able to comfortably slot in on the left flank in Howe’s attack, while also offering the versatility to feature through the middle if needed.

Whether it be for a likely cut-price deal in January or on a free next summer, Newcastle could well secure a major coup by bringing Zaha through the door.