After 323 games for the Eagles, Wilfried Zaha looks finally set for a move away from Selhurst Park after making his feelings known to the club that he wishes to seek new pastures.
The Ivory Coast international has been the club’s talisman ever since since making the jump from the youth side into the senior fold in 2010. However, after numerous transfer windows of uncertainty it appears Crystal Palace’s 5-3 final day win over Bournemouth will be the curtain call on the 26-year-old’s time in south London.
Loved walking out on the pitch after today’s game with my little King. Finished the season on a high and happy for the #CPFCFamily because you deserved it. Thank you for all your support this season it’s been massively appreciated pic.twitter.com/kdKODZUGRB
— Wilfried Zaha (@wilfriedzaha) May 12, 2019
Zaha expressed his desire to play Champions League football after meeting with club chairman Steve Parish to confess he is looking to lift silverware and compete against Europe’s best.
Let’s take a look at where he might be lining up in a few months time.
They need something, anything at this point, to give the club a lift after a season of crushing disappointment at Old Trafford. It would mark his second stint in Manchester, having joined the Red Devils back in 2013 in a quite frankly disastrous spell.
Zaha made only four appearances for United over two years, having loan spells at Cardiff and back at Palace before permanently returning to his boyhood club in 2015. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer desperately needs to reinvigorate his failing squad, with Zaha arguably one of the star players in the league and certainly capable of getting supporters off their seats – even if it didn’t work out the first time.
The money is there, even if Champions League football isn’t, so it would require a monumental effort from the United board to see this one go through, although there are few of the Old Trafford faithful who would argue against it.
Probability Rating: 2/10
A far more tactically based league paves the way for creative players to unlock rigid and structured defences, with Zaha possessing a shedload of tricks and flicks that would suit any Serie A side well.
The frontrunners in Italy are Inter, who are repeatedly mentioned among potential suitors for the pacy forward.
From a footballing perspective the move would suit Zaha, with Unai Emery favouring an open, attacking brand of football, as opposed to the counter-attacking style he is used to at Palace. However, in order to make the jump up to play with Europe’s best he will need to embrace a new system.
Probability Rating: 3/10
This move would constitute relocating out of London, but not by much. For any deal to take place, the club in question would need to have the finances available. Check. Secondly, they would need to be playing regular Champions League football. %1000 Check. Thirdly, they would need to offer a challenge big enough to pry Zaha away from the Premier League. Meh, not really.
PSG would undoubtedly offer the wide-man improved wages, be able to afford the fee in question and assure European football every year. The sticking point would be whether Zaha would relish playing in Ligue 1 knowing each season is won at a canter, with European football the only real highlight of the campaign.
Definitely not out of the question, but equally not set in stone.
Probability Rating: 4/10
It was reported back in January that the German heavyweights were keen on smashing their transfer record to lure the Ivorian to the Bundesliga, interest that could be heightened given the player’s desire for Champions League football.
The Black and Yellows have a hole burning in their pocket after sanctioning Christian Pulisic’s move to Chelsea for £57m , therefore financially a move could be on the cards. Dortmund are repeatedly among the top sides in Germany, almost guaranteed a top four place every season, thus the allure of European competition could tempt Zaha to make the move.
After Jadon Sancho’s impressive debut campaign for Dortmund, Zaha could well feel a similar pathway could be forged for him, despite the division not characteristically being as fierce or challenging as the Premier League.
Probability Rating: 6/10
There is another part of north London that may suit the Ivorian far better, though. Spurs’ are probably counting their lucky stars he hasn’t moved on from Palace in the last 18 months.
A time in which Mauricio Pochettino’s side have gone without signing anyone due to the constructing of the
Tottenham haven’t spent that sort of fee on any player in their history, and would need to smash their transfer record to bring Zaha in. But, with a top four spot cemented and a Champions League final to come, additional funding may be available for Daniel Levy to delve that little but deeper into his pockets.
Of all the pathways leading out of Selhurst Park, the one leading to N17 offers the most likely route for Zaha.
Probability Rating: 8/10