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Profit Players: Wilfried Zaha

Profit Players: Wilfried Zaha - Profit Players

Crystal Palace supporters have been making a lot of noise in recent times after seeing their side record a second straight Premier League victory at the weekend.

Roy Hodgson’s men went into their daunting trip to champions Manchester City off the back of narrowly beating Leicester City 1-0 in their previous league clash, although they hadn’t won away from home in the league since their 1-0 success at Huddersfield Town back in September. Yet the Eagles produced one of their best displays in many a year to win 3-2 at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday, with goals from Jeffrey Schlupp, Andros Townsend, and Luka Milivojevic inspiring the visitors to a fifth league win of the season.

As such, there have been many thrilled Palace fans up and down the country in recent times, several of whom are hoping that their side can back up their stunning win on Saturday by beating Cardiff City at Selhurst Park this afternoon.

And that will see talisman Wilfried Zaha come up against one of his former clubs as a result, having spent time on loan at the South Wales outfit back in 2014 from parent side Manchester United.

But it was Palace who got a permanent deal done for the forward for just £3.45 million (as per Transfermarkt) back in 2015 as former United boss Louis van Gaal sought to cash in on the 26-year-old – a decision which is very much backfiring for the Red Devils given Zaha’s incredible resurgence at Palace.

Ultimately, it was at Selhurst Park where the 26-year-old really made his name earlier in his career in excelling for the Eagles in the Championship, eventually earning a £10.58 million move (as per Transfermarkt) to Old Trafford as he sought to advance his career.

Yet things really didn’t go well for Zaha at the Premier League heavyweights in playing just four times for the Red Devils in a two-year spell at the club, with loan spells at Palace, Cardiff, and then Palace again underlining just how far down the pecking order he was at Old Trafford.

As such, it perhaps wasn’t overly surprising to see United boss-at-the-time van Gaal cash in on the Ivory Coast international, but to do so for just £3.45 million, and having seen what he has since gone on to achieve, suggests the Dutchman made something of a blunder.

The 26-year-old forward has since taken his game to another level at Selhurst Park, be it netting seven times in the 2016/17 season as the Eagles staved off relegation under Sam Allardyce, or indeed his tally of nine goals and five assists last term as the Londoners bounced back from a shocking start to eventually finish 11th – ultimately, he has comfortably been one of the most impressive attackers outside of the top six in years gone by.

And with three goals and three assists this time round, it looks as though Zaha will again play a huge part in whatever success Palace have this term – how sixth place United, currently eight points off the top four, could do with someone like the 26-year-old in their ranks.

But they haven’t because ex-chief van Gaal decided to cash in on the Ivorian, and given just how good he has been at Selhurst Park since then, alongside having cost Palace a bargain £3.45 million to sign him, it’s clear that the Eagles have been the only victors from the Dutchman’s backfiring transfer call.

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

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Article title: Profit Players: Wilfried Zaha

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