Crystal Palace

Profit Players: Wilfried Zaha

Profit Players: Wilfried Zaha

Crystal Palace supporters have been pretty downbeat in recent times after seeing their team suffer a fifth Premier League defeat of the season at the weekend.

Roy Hodgson’s men went into their clash with newly-promoted Wolves off the back of losing 2-1 to Bournemouth in their previous league encounter, and having failed to win any of their three home games prior to the visit of Nuno Espirito Santo’s side. And the Eagles are now four without a win at Selhurst Park as Matt Docherty’s effort 11 minutes into the second period sealed a 1-0 victory for the West Midlands club, thus leaving Hodgson’s Palace 14th in the Premier League table.

As such, there have been many frustrated Eagles supporters up and down the country in recent times, several of whom will be hoping for much improvement as the season wears on given they made some signings during the summer.

And many of those additions received praise from many fans during the close season, as did their club’s decision to re-sign forward Wilfried Zaha for just £3.45 million (as per Transfermarkt) back in 2015.

And having originally sold the 25-year-old to Manchester United for £10.58 million (as per Transfermarkt) only a few years earlier, for the Eagles to thus make a hefty £7.13 million profit on the forward, alongside what he has since become upon returning to Selhurst Park, his addition is undoubtedly the best £3.45 million Palace have ever spent.

Ultimately, Zaha’s early efforts at Palace prompted Sir Alex Ferguson’s United to lure the talented forward to Old Trafford back in January 2013, only for the Ivory Coast international to seriously struggle to produce his best form in the North West.

In fact, the 25-year-old managed just four senior appearances for the Red Devils during his two-year stint at the club to reinforce his difficulties, with loan spells at Cardiff City and indeed Palace underlining just how low down he was in the pecking order at the Premier League giants.

And many have since speculated whether the move was too early in Zaha’s career, and that argument has been further backed up by just how excellent he has been since returning to Selhurst Park for a paltry £3.45 million back in February 2015.

The Ivorian spent the first half of the 2014/15 season on loan at Palace before making that move permanent during the winter window, before going on to finish the season with four goals and four assists to his name to help the Eagles to a tenth place finish in the top-flight.

And while he wasn’t hugely effective in the 2015/16 campaign, bagging on just five occasions in all competitions as Alan Pardew’s men reached the FA Cup final, the last few seasons have since seen Zaha move to the next level to become one of the most influential attackers outside of the top six, at the same time making a mockery of the lowly £3.45 million he cost the club in 2015.

The 25-year-old netted seven goals and laid on 11 assists in the 2016/17 campaign as the Eagles just about stayed in the Premier League under the stewardship of Sam Allardyce, and the attacker arguably proved the difference between staying up and going down last season as well in scoring nine goals and laying on five assists in just 29 league appearances.

And with three goals and an assist already this time round, it’s staggering to think that Palace only had to pay £3.45 million for Zaha back in February 2015, with the attacker worth a considerable amount more than that now.

Thus, by purchasing him for very little three-and-a-half years ago, and thus making a £7.13 million profit on the 25-year-old, the Palace board have clearly pulled off a masterstroke, with Zaha’s signing the best £3.45 million they have ever spent.

Palace fans… what do you think? Let us know!

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