Palace should cash in on Zaha
Wilfried Zaha made no secret of his desire to leave Crystal Palace during the summer and it appears the time may be right for the Eagles to cash-in.
Zaha has been Palace’s talisman ever since returning to the club for a second spell in 2015, but it appeared he was set to leave Selhurst Park once again during the summer.
Arsenal and Everton were interested in signing the Ivory Coast international and both clubs had bids reportedly rejected by Palace, who had no desire to sell their star man even after he handed in a transfer request to try and force through a move.
There was also reported interest in Zaha from clubs on the continent, but Palace fans were rejoicing when the transfer window closed and the forward was still at Selhurst Park, even though he was only remaining begrudgingly.
Palace supporters were certainly hoping that Zaha would have been able to put his transfer disappointment behind him and continue with the form he has shown over the last two seasons where he has scored a combined 19 goals and provided eight assists.
However, the forward, who turns 27 on Sunday, has struggled to produce consistent performances over the opening 12 games of this season and that has been reflected in the statistics, as he is yet to score in the league and has only provided one assist.
It is difficult to say whether Zaha’s dip in form is because he is disgruntled at failing to secure a move, he is more of a marked man this season, or he is just not at his best, but it appears Palace may now be better off selling the forward and using the money to strengthen their squad elsewhere.
The problem is Palace wanted upwards of £80million before they would even consider selling Zaha during the summer, but could they realistically expect to receive that fee given his struggles over recent months?
Indeed, the Eagles may be better off taking £60-70million for Zaha and reinvesting in a squad that appears to have a number of holes, particularly in the final third, with the form and fitness of strikers such as Christian Benteke and Connor Wickham remaining a concern.
Saturday’s 2-0 defeat to Chelsea means Palace have taken just one point from their last four games and given the congested nature of the Premier League, they could still be dragged into a relegation battle.
While Zaha undoubtedly has the individual talent to aid Palace’s cause going forward, the club must look at the bigger picture, particularly if their top-flight status begins to come under threat.