TalkSPORT pundit Darren Gough believes Roy Hodgson has to ‘reinvent the wheel’ at Crystal Palace – by selling Wilfried Zaha and reinvesting in the team.
Having held on to the Ivorian despite interest in the summer, Hodgson was advised to let the winger go in the upcoming transfer window, with an emphasis on finding a solution to replace his goals.
Co-host Adrian Durham had initially argued that Palace were not performing to their potential given the exploits of the likes of Wolves and Sheffield United this season.
Gough appeared to agree by arguing that Hodgson must find a way of getting Palace – the second-lowest scorers in the league this year – scoring without Zaha to keep his Eagles project alive.
He said on TalkSPORT: “I think he’s under pressure, I think he’s been told by Crystal Palace that it’s all about survival. They’re obviously not as rich as they’re trying to make out.
“Roy Hodgson has had a good career, but now I think [Palace] is his biggest test. He has to reinvent the wheel there, really. Because everybody relies on Zaha. The only team that have scored less goals are Watford – they’re rock-bottom.
“I still think it’s for the best [Zaha] goes in January so that they can prepare for next season with someone else in place.
“He has to find another way to play [whereby] they can score goals, because without Zaha and their penalty taker, where are they going to score their goals?”
Palace have struggled for goals this season, with their tally of 15 a clear sign of their attacking struggles. If Zaha goes for the kind of fee that was talked about in the summer, there is no reason why an alternative goal source cannot be found next month – especially having not fully reinvested the money received for Aaron Wan-Bissaka in the summer.
Their defensive solidity – which they have arguably relied upon in order to hold onto a mid-table position thus far – suggests they may well be safe given goals have been so scarce even with Zaha’s input.
That suggests Gough could be right in advising Hodgson to find a pure goalscorer if they are to move on from the Zaha transfer saga and rectify their scoring woes in one fell swoop.
Will this be Wilfried Zaha's final season at Crystal Palace?
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