Martin Jol has not been afraid to add to the existing squad at Fulham, bringing in five new players including ex-Liverpool left-back John Arne Riise, and Swiss playmaker Pajtim Kasami.
Despite these new arrivals, Fulham’s squad maintains it’s status as the oldest in the Premier League, and Jol is keen to inject some youth into his ageing team. Wilfried Zaha, of Crystal Palace, is the man believed to be top of Jol’s list, and the Dutchman firmly believes Zaha can make an impact at Craven Cottage after seeing the youngster bag two goals in a Carling Cup tie against Crawley Town.
Whilst far from the finished article, Zaha is tipped for big things, and was subject to interest from both Liverpool and Arsenal towards the end of last season. The 18-year old is a product of the Crystal Palace academy, an academy noted for it’s ability to help players reach their potential, and has produced players such as Victor Moses, John Bostock, Nathaniel Clyne, and Sean Scannell in recent times, all of whom are also believed to have what it takes to make it in the Premier League.
Although born in the Ivory Coast, Zaha has already represented England at youth level and looks set to add to his caps if he can continue his current level of development. And with his searing pace and skill with the ball at his feet, his position at second striker could make a contrasting, and potentially successfull, partner to Fulham’s target man, Bobby Zamora.
The Daily Mail is reporting that Zaha could leave Palace for as little £2.5M, and with Mohamed Al-Fayed seemingly content to back Jol’s transfer plans so far, it is difficult to imagine he would withhold the funding for this deal.
Any reluctance Al-Fayed may have for financing a move for Zaha is likely to be negated by the fact that at £2.5M, Zaha represents extremely good value for the money, and while it’s unlikely Fulham will be able to keep hold of him when the big clubs come knocking, they will almost certainly make a tidy profit on the young striker.