According to The Daily Mail, Crystal Palace are set to demand a fee in the region of £75m-£80m for star man Wilfried Zaha this summer, with a number of top European clubs circling.
The Ivorian has chalked up an impressive tally of goals and assists this term and has, once again, more or less kept the Eagles up by himself. The Selhurst Park outfit have tried their utmost to keep him at the club for the past few seasons but it seems that the annual reports of his imminent departure are for real this time.
The 26-year-old has already spoken of his desire to play Champions League football and, with Arsenal, Spurs and Borussia Dortmund to name but a few interested, that dream could soon be a reality.
Having already failed to make a mark at Manchester United, will the electric number 11 succeed at the second time of asking should he fly the nest this summer? Football FanCast’s writers give their verdicts below…
“No. He’s tried once and it failed. He needs to be playing for a counter-attacking team to thrive, where his pace and his dribbling become a genuine outlet. Playing for the likes of Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur or Manchester United will see Zaha come up against teams that play with a low block. Zaha struggles to play against those teams. One, those clubs shouldn’t be paying £75m, and two, he does not have the right profile to play for those clubs.”
“I think that things could be different for Wilfried Zaha at a top-six club this time around. When he made the move to Manchester United he simply wasn’t ready to play for such a big team and it wasn’t exactly the best time to be moving to Old Trafford either. The winger now has bags of Premier League experience and is a full international with the Ivory Coast. He would need to adapt to being a small fish in a big pond rather than a big fish in a small pond. However, in my opinion, with the right influences, he can do it and enjoy a great career in the upper echelons of European football.”
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“Roy Hodgson will be laughing if he pockets £75 million for Zaha. There is no doubt he is a gifted player but he lacks the consistency and mentality to thrive at a top-six club. He would be nothing more than a squad player at a top-six side and I have a feeling that could cause problems in the dressing room. Riyad Mahrez’s struggle to break into City’s first-team and all the problems that have come with it have been well documented, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see a similar pattern unfold if Zaha makes a comparable step up in class.”