Crystal Palace forward Wilfried Zaha has handed in a transfer request, according to Sky Sports. The forward has been one of the Eagles main stars in for the past few seasons and played a big part in the Eagles avoiding the drop once again this season.
Reportedly, though, Wilfried Zaha is far more ambitious than just playing for a team that wants to beat the drop each season. According to the Sky report, the forward wants to move to play Champions League football next season.
Never hidden his ambition
Zaha has never hidden his ambition to play Champions League football in his career. A big switch to Manchester United in his early 20’s came far too soon for the forward, though. He flopped at Old Trafford and eventually returned to Palace.
A few summers ago, Spurs showed an interest in Zaha and he is was reportedly highly interested in making the move to north London. However, Palace put a big price-tag on his shoulders that Tottenham were not prepared to reach.
In January, Palace also reportedly dismissed an enquiry from German club Dortmund. It is obvious that the Eagles are not keen on losing one of their star players.
Would thrive alongside better players
Zaha has not been prolific by Premier League standards in recent seasons. He scored ten times this season in the top-flight. He had also scored nine and seven goals in previous seasons when he was mostly operating on the wing.
However, he weighs in with his fair share of assists and the Eagles have struggled to hit the back of the net in recent campaigns. The fact that Zaha played as a central striker for much of this season says a lot about the clubs existing strikers.
Chelsea loanee Michy Batshuayi scored a few goals towards the end of the season, while Christian Benteke seems to have forgotten where the net is.
That meant that much of the attacking burden was on the shoulders of Zaha. In a team with better-attacking options, there is a good chance that Zaha could be even more productive.
He is undoubtedly talented and maybe that talent is not recognised enough because he plays for a club who are always struggling. While Zaha has not played Champions League football during his career, I would back him to be successful in a better team, even in Europe’s elite competition.
If he played for a Manchester City, Liverpool or even Tottenham, Zaha probably would have far more impressive stats for this season.
Gunners the favourites to sign Zaha
Crystal Palace are probably only going to allow Zaha to leave for a massive fee this summer, as he only signed a new contract last summer. That means that the Eagles can demand a premium fee for their star player.
Arsenal have emerged as the favourites to sign Zaha at odds of 1/ 2, while Tottenham and Dortmund are high in the betting to renew their interest in the Ivory Coast international.
It is difficult to see Arsenal, Dortmund or Tottenham splashing out big money on one player. The Gunners are reportedly set to stick to a small transfer budget once again, as they attempt to establish themselves back amongst the Premier League top-four.
Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy is not one to sanction big transfer deals or spending. However, the team from north London could well finish the season as European champions, which would no doubt fill the club’s coffers.
Dortmund are not a club that spends big on bringing in players either. However, they do have the reported £58million fee for Christian Pulisic from Chelsea burning a hole in their pockets.
Zaha seems desperate to make the next step in his career, so a move to any club playing European football cannot be ruled out. However, it seems that Palace understandably are not keen on losing their most dangerous attacking player without a fight so only time will tell if Zaha is granted his request.
Where will Wilfried Zaha be plying his trade next summer?
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