It was the least surprising news of the season. As I outlined recently in a previous blog, Arsenal were considering returning with a new bid for Palace Striker Wilfred Zaha in January.
The North London club are far from finished in coming transfer windows and Palace are going to have to release their star player to keep a happy house.
Steve Parish, part owner of Crystal Palace seems to have grown more accepting of a move to another club over the passing months.
When Arsenal placed a bid for Wilfred Zaha in the summer, reported to be around £40m, Palace reacted by immediately hiking the price through the roof to £80m, which was unbelievably unrealistic for the former Manchester United misfit.
Talented he may be, but £80m is a case of wishful thinking but perhaps the failure to tempt Arsenal and Everton into a bidding war has now levelled the playing field.
With Everton snapping up Alex Iwobi in the dying hours of the transfer window, Parish appears to be more willing to strike a deal involving a player who desperately wants away.
“I’m sure it has a happy ending for everybody.”
“That’s what I want to generate and I’m sure we’ll make that happen.
“We’ve all been young, but the situation was not right for anybody this summer. You think at the time it is, but I wouldn’t put a cap on this kid’s talent.”
That’s all well and good, but if you are telling me that Wilfred Zaha is worth just £40m less than the figure PSG paid for Kylian Mbappé, you must be crazy.
Mbappé is at the top end of the elite pay scale, so if Parish are willing to strike a deal for £48/£50m he will have done well .
Wilfred Zaha is the best player at Palace without question, but he is an unknown quantity in a bigger team and he is said to carry a degree of attitude around with him after claiming he deserves to play at a higher level.
When he went to United, he wasn’t trusted enough for the first team and was viewed as a flop. No one knows if it was a case of the player being overwhelmed, Zaha’s reaction to the move or something the manager, Alex Ferguson spotted.
Ferguson was known to have little patience with good time Charlie’s and as a 19-year-old in 2013, Zaha may have portrayed himself as such.
“Me going to a big club when I was like 19 or 20, I didn’t know what to expect, how to behave, whatever,”
“I was just a youngster who wanted to do tricks, I didn’t even care about end product.”
The recent reaction of Parish may be the result of over playing his hand during the summer and that he now appreciates that an unhappy striker could significantly undermine the team in the long run.
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Zaha apparently expressed a desire to move to the Emirates, not the smartest of moves but it’s something that Palace need to consider if a mutual move is to be agreed.
Personally, I’d rather concentrate transfer funds on other areas such as centre of defence and a play maker when Ceballos departs and Arsenal manage to squeeze Ozil through the door.
It also leaves the door open for Arsenal’s academy prospects who may tire of playing in tin pot cup competitions, clocking up a combined total of 10 appearances per season. I’d rather see them content than Wilfred Zaha, but I’m probably on my own there.