This article is part of Football FanCast’s Pundit View series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent quotes from journalists, pundits, players and managers…
Former Crystal Palace player John Salako believes want-away forward Wilfried Zaha needs to “suck it up” and get on with it for the Eagles after he was left ‘devastated‘ when his transfer request failed to have the desired effect in the summer.
The Ivory Coast international handed in his request to leave Selhurst Park on the eve of the transfer deadline amid interest from Everton, and started the first match of the campaign – coincidentally against the Toffees – on the bench.
Zaha has since started fixtures against Sheffield United and Manchester United, providing the dynamic dribble that eventually resulted in Patrick van Aanholt’s winner at Old Trafford.
Despite his impact on Saturday, Salako reckons he has to put his summer disappointment behind him.
Salako told Love Sport Radio: “He’s got to suck it up. You could see him sulking first day on the bench against Everton. Then away against Sheffield United, he just never played.
“He was looking a bit sulky and wasn’t happy, but at Old Trafford, a club he played for, up against Wan Bissaka, he had a point to prove.”
If Zaha wants to show those clubs interested in him that he has the mentality to succeed at the top level, he has to prove that he can overcome personal setbacks and continue to perform at the highest level.
Clubs will presumably be less likely to push the boat out for the mercurial talent if they see that he is the type to sulk and down tools when things aren’t going his way – he has to keep performing for Palace for the sake of his own future ambitions.
If he ends up going into January with terrible stats and a negative narrative hanging over his head, other clubs are hardly going to be compelled to meet the Eagles’ lofty valuation.
Zaha must get his head down, buck up his ideas and get back in the mood to get what he wants.