Crystal Palace have managed to survive the English transfer window without losing their prize asset, Wilfried Zaha. Yet just one day after the window has shut, he has already been linked with a January move.
According to The Sun, Chelsea will make a bid worth £80m for the wantaway attacker, as long as they succeed in overturning their transfer ban.
The report goes onto say that Zaha reluctantly agreed to stay at Selhurst Park on deadline day, but will want out come the next transfer window. It says that an ‘uncomfortable truce’ was agreed between chairman Steve Parish and his winger after he was denied a big move to Everton in the last couple of days in the window.
Zaha handed in a transfer request on Wednesday – the day before deadline day – after an alleged bid (The Guardian) from Everton was rejected.
If the rumours are true, then this could be an option that suits every party involved.
With relations between Zaha and the club apparently getting more fragile, then it is important that the club do not make the situation more bitter than it needs to be.
With Zaha being so influential in getting Palace to the Premier League, getting them into an FA Cup Final, keeping them up on numerous occasions in what is their longest spell in the top division and being the club’s all-time Premier League goal scorer, then it would be nicer for everyone involved at Palace if he could leave with some dignity.
In this sense, the move works for both Palace and Zaha. Zaha announced (Daily Mail) his desire to play in the Champions League in April, however, once Palace had no suitors from that competition, he still wanted to depart. With Chelsea playing in that competition, it would allow him to fulfil that dream, without also increasing the ability of a direct rival in Everton.
Also, at £80m it would match Palace’s valuation set for the player, and would allow them to reinvest in the squad easily.
For Chelsea, it would suit them too. They could do with an extra winger. Despite the signing of Christian Pulisic and the rise of Callum Hudson-Odoi, Willian’s barely a potent threat (he only scored three times in his 32 games last season, as per WhoScored) and Pedro is approaching 33 years of age, so an established Premier League performer could be needed at Stamford Bridge.
Many Palace fans can accept that Zaha wants to join a bigger club; what hurts them is Everton.
With the club only finishing five points ahead of them last year, it would be difficult to see Zaha battling it out at another English club who are not likely to be playing regularly in Europe.
It would make everyone at Palace feel a lot more comfortable if they could offload him to a team where they can see him shine. He is one of Palace’s most prized assets, and has even been described as the club’s best ever player by another club legend Andy Johnson on a popular Crystal Palace podcast, Five Year Plan.
Ex-Eagles manager Ian Holloway summarised it very well from a Palace perspective when discussing the future of Zaha.
He said on talkSPORT: “He needs to be at a top, top club. If not, stay where you’re loved – and I’ve got nothing against Everton.”
Crystal Palace fans, should the club sell Zaha to Chelsea? Give us your thoughts in the comment section below!
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