The Lilywhites ran Leicester close in the race for the Premier League title last season, but have since had a quiet summer in terms of transfers with only Vincent Janssen and Victor Wanyama signed.
But, with only a few days of the window left, Ornstein has claimed that they’ve made a somewhat surprising move for Palace’s Zaha.
— David Ornstein (@bbcsport_david) August 25, 2016
It’s understood that the offer is in the region of £15m and that the player is keen on the switch due to the lure of playing in the Champions League. But the Eagles don’t want to sell.
How will he fit in?
This is a big question. As the stats (via Squawka) above show, Zaha couldn’t compete with Erik Lamela’s goal-per-game ratio last season, while his 0.03 assists per-game was a lower tally than even Clinton N’Jie who made only eight league appearances.
However, where Zaha does come into his own is his direct running and threat to the opposition.
A quick glance at the numbers shows just how different an option he could be for Mauricio Pochettino. Indeed, the ex-Manchester United attacker completed over double the amount of take-ons his nearest Spurs rival, Lamela, managed last season, while he also won 2.65 free-kicks-a-match.
The former trait means that he may well be a useful option on the counter-attack against the bigger teams, while his tendency to generate set-pieces out wide and around the the box will be welcome given Spurs’ quality both in a direct and indirect sense.
£15m is pricey, right?
Yes and no. It’s hard to tell now just how much a player is worth with the transfer market having not settled since the bumper TV revenue kicked in. There’s always been a premium on English talent, so £15m – £10m less than Yannick Bolasie cost Everton – appears relatively sane.
But, the Eagles, as alluded to, are not in desperate need of cash and might be wary of leaving themselves short of options so late on – which may drive the fee up.