Thursday, June 8, 2023

Chelsea Face Tough Competition For This In-Demand Crystal Palace Ace: Is He Worth The Fight?

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

In a recent report, The Daily Mail stated that Chelsea are facing tough competition for Crystal Palace ace Wilfried Zaha. It has been claimed that the Blues will have to rival AC Milan, Inter Milan, Napoli and Olympique Marseille in the race to sign the Ivory Coast sensation.

Zaha’s Impressive Form In English Football This Season

The 30-year-old is having a decent campaign at the London club and has been responsible for producing a few impressive displays for them on the left flank. Zaha has participated in 26 matches for the Eagles this season, netting seven goals and picking up three assists in the process across multiple competitions.

The Ivory Coast sensation has given a good account of himself in the final third as he is averaging 2.5 shots, 1.0 key passes and 1.9 dribbles per 90 minutes in the Premier League. He has even been impressive when distributing the ball in the opponent’s half after completing 81% of his attempted passes in the English top tier (stats via whoscored).

His current contract at Selhurst Park is set to expire at the end of this campaign. Thus, it is no surprise that Chelsea are facing such fierce competition in pursuit of Zaha this summer.

Wilfried Zaha
LONDON, ENGLAND – MARCH 19: Wilfried Zaha of Crystal Palace shoots whilst under pressure from Gabriel of Arsenal during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Crystal Palace at Emirates Stadium on March 19, 2023 in London, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Chelsea Face Stiff Competition For Zaha: Is He Worth The Fight?

Zaha is a good dribbler with the ball at his feet and has built a reputation of earning penalties as he can be quite tricky to deal with inside the opponent’s penalty box. He can strike the ball with venom and precision from long range but needs to find a way to be more productive on the attacking end of the field.

On a free transfer, Zaha proves to be of great value for any top club with European ambitions this summer. Hence, Chelsea should focus on getting a deal done for him when the transfer window reopens later this year.

Zaha has already proved his worth in the Premier League and will be well-worth the fight as long as the London giants are willing to play him regularly at Stamford Bridge next season. His signing could help the Blues cope with Financial Fair Play regulations better as he would serve as a decent attacking option for them in the short-term.

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