Crystal Palace had a nervy summer transfer window with their star player Wilfried Zaha being regularly linked with a number of clubs in the Premier League. However, Palace manager Roy Hodgson has managed to hold on to his services with the English transfer window coming to a halt on Thursday night.
There is still a danger of a European team (however slim) attempting to sign the Eagles speedster this month, but for now, Zaha is well and truly a Palace player. The 25-year-old proved his worth once again yesterday when he found the back of the net against Fulham at Craven Cottage, which sealed the points for Hodgson’s side in their opening game of the season.
Last season, the Londoners lost their first seven matches of the Premier League, so a victory in their first game this term would be a big confidence builder for them and Zaha’s outstanding contributions up top being the key. He is arguably Palace’s best player on most occasions, so not letting him leave this summer augurs well for the Selhurst Park-outfit in the long-run.
The Ivory Coast forward was also instrumental in the Eagles’ climb from the bottom of the league table to finishing in the 11th place at the end of last season. He had contributed with 9 goals and 5 assists in 29 matches for Palace in the previous campaign. Hence, hanging on to someone as influential as Zaha (and we are not going by just the number of goals and assists) could turn out to be a masterstroke by the club as they attempt to push for a top half finish this season.
Despite not being successful with Manchester United earlier in his career, the Ivory Coast sensation has managed to turn his career for the better. He is currently in an ideal environment like Selhurst Park and has the opportunity to thrive under an experienced manager like Roy Hodgson. So it could be a beneficial move for the player as well to not part ways with the London side this summer.
Zaha is exceptionally versatile and can play in multiple positions across the frontline. He primarily operates as a centre-forward but can also play on either flank while using his pace and trickery to cause havoc for the opposition defenders. At the age of 25, the Ivory Coast star is just about to hit his peak years, which Palace should look to benefit from in the next few campaigns.
While holding on to Zaha might not feel as exciting as getting Max Meyer on a free, one could argue both are equally important for Palace this season. In fact, retaining Zaha, despite all the interest from the Premier League heavyweights, could turn out to be Crystal Palace’s best transfer decision when we judge their season next year.
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