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…
Speaking exclusively to talkSPORT, Crystal Palace defender Gary Cahill has praised Wilfried Zaha’s attitude around the club following his decision to hand in a transfer request on the eve of the transfer deadline.
The Ivorian was said to be left ‘devastated‘ after his attempts to leave Selhurst Park failed, but 33-year-old Cahill – who joined the Eagles on a free transfer this summer – has spoken glowingly about the winger’s reaction in the aftermath of the transfer drama.
The former Bolton and Chelsea centre-back said: “Zaha has been first class to be honest.
“I know how difficult it can be when things like that are circulating in your head and you have to go through these emotions so close to the start of the season.
“I knew it would be tough for him, but once that move didn’t materialise his attitude to training and the way he’s been around the place has been first class. For me, there is no issue whatsoever.”
You’re always playing with fire when you keep an unhappy player at the club against his wishes.
The player could go on strike, set a terrible example in training to teammates, and just be a general nuisance until they get their move away.
In Zaha’s case, however, we have heard evidence already to suggest that he is behaving like a model professional despite obviously wanting to leave the club.
Another teammate in James McArthur has also spoken extremely well of the 26-year-old’s commitment and attitude around the place despite everything that happened, so it does appear that there is enough evidence to suggest that all is well in terms of the harmony amongst the squad.
Palace must still prepare for life without Zaha, as what happened cannot simply be brushed under the carpet, but for Palace fans it must be reassuring news to hear that the attacker’s teammates are pleased with his reaction.