With the rumour mill surrounding his future continuing to swirl and Arsenal remaining odds-on to land his signature in the summer transfer window, Crystal Palace look likely to lose Wilfried Zaha.
The Eagles are not a one-man team, but the Ivory Coast international’s importance to the whole club is hard to sum up in words.
His ten goals and ten assists in the Premier League in 2018/2019 are just the tip of the iceberg in terms of his abilities and without him last season, Roy Hodgson’s men could well have been relegated to the Sky Bet Championship.
In December, they somehow managed to win for the first time in well over two years without Zaha in their ranks. He drags the entire side along, elevating them to his lofty levels.
But the fact remains that the 26-year-old is probably now too good to be playing his football at Selhurst Park after over 300 appearances across two separate spells.
Taking everything into account, how on earth do the south London club prepare for life without Zaha and how are they going to go about replacing him when he inevitably departs?
We must look at the three key facets of Zaha’s game that make him so effective, his creativity, his pace and of course, his goals.
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Aiming to replace the former England international with just one player would be incredibly optimistic as there aren’t many players in world football who possess all these traits in such abundance.
The club should therefore look for at least three stars who can each bring one of these qualities to the table and there will be a bright future beyond Zaha, it could even improve Hodgson’s men. But it needs to be a dynamic three-pronged plan.
This won’t be the easiest task in the world during the window and depending on when Zaha leaves, if he does, could be made even harder with time restraints.
However, looking out into the market the individuals are there; a much-needed central attacking midfielder to replace Zaha’s creativity, a pacey young winger to replace his speed and an out-and-out goalscorer to replace the goals.
The likes of Jack Grealish at Aston Villa, Ademola Lookman at Everton and Aleksandar Mitrovic at relegated Fulham could all potentially move clubs this summer, and they are exactly the type of players the Eagles should be eyeing if Zaha departs.