According to latest reports, Everton has joined the bandwagon to sign Crystal Palace starlet Wilfried Zaha. The winger has been brilliant for the Eagles this term and he has single-handedly saved them from relegation with the club finishing a respectable 11th.
Zaha who was previously at Manchester United failed to blossom at Old Trafford but has grown by leaps and bounds in the last few years at Selhurst Park. Now at 25, a lot of the top clubs are vying for his signature and it could be difficult for the Crystal Palace board to keep their talismanic winger for another season.
Zaha managed nine goals and 5 assist this term and was the focal point for the Eagles in the final third of the pitch. Traditionally, he is a winger, but this season, Hodgson used him on some occasions as a false 9 which brought great results to his team. He would have been more effective and devastating if someone like Christian Benteke would have been more clinical in front of goal.
Roy Hodgson also deserves some credit for bringing the best out of him. When the veteran manager was managing England, he had given Zaha his first cap for the Three Lions. However, after 2 appearances for England, Zaha decided to turn out for Ivory Coast as he thought that he will have more chances of a senior team call-up with the African nation.
At Palace, the team was in doldrums at the start of the season as they were pointless in their first seven games. They had to sack their highly rated former Ajax manager Frank De Boer and they went on to appoint Roy Hodgson. The Palace faithful were slightly skeptical regarding his appointment but the veteran manager showed his experience and took the club to safety with relative comfort in the end.
Losing Zaha will certainly be a body blow for Palace as he has been their main man throughout the season. They have struggled on the attacking front when he has been out injured as they have lacked players who like to take on defenders and play direct football.
Palace are demanding £60m for him and if his valuation is met then they can look to invest and bring in a proper replacement for him. However, in an ideal scenario they will like to keep him but if a top club comes for him with a concrete offer, the Eagles won’t be able to stop him from leaving.