Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino has refused to comment about Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha, adding fuel to the speculation linking the England international with a move to White Hart Lane in January. Spurs are very keen on adding strength in depth to the squad, but Pochettino admitted that it is always difficult to strengthen the squad in January. It is unlikely to prevent Spurs from making their moves from now till January 31. Zaha has emerged as a transfer target for the club, with the winger keen on moving away from the relegation threatened London outfit.
What Pochettino says that he is happy with the squad, the Argentine manager went on to admit that he would be open to the possibility of strengthening the squad if the opportunity arose. He was quoted by Daily Star saying;
“I don’t want to speak about the player in another club. I like good players and maybe he is a good player. But I don’t like to start focusing on some names. Then you start a rumour.
“I am happy with the squad. At the same time I recognise it is always very difficult to improve the squad in January. With the best players, it is difficult for their teams to allow the good players to leave halfway through the season.”
Sam Allardyce was recently appointed as the new Crystal Palace manager. He is a manager who favours long balls and set pieces more than playing on the ground. Zaha realises that it will be a tough period for him at Selhurst Park, and any lack of playing time could adversely impact on his international career. Since making his England debut in 2012, the former Manchester United winger has featured in only two games. However, it has largely been down to a combination of poor form and lack of settled playing time.
Zaha could receive a major boost to his profile if he plays for a club like Spurs, a top four contender and potentially in the hunt for trophies at the end of the campaign. The North London outfit were in for the 24-year-old even in the summer. However, Crystal Palace chairman Steve Parish branded the initial £12 million offer as ridiculous. Spurs then came with offers of around £18 million, only to find even those bids rejected by Palace.
It is now reported that a figure in the region of £25 million (via the same report by Daily Star)would be sufficient to capture the signing of Zaha. The only question is if Spurs will be prepared to invest in this extravagant sum of money on a player, who has previously failed at a big club. Zaha spent two seasons at United, although he was largely on loan at clubs like Crystal Palace and Cardiff, but he failed to impose against the stiff competition. Even if he has not exactly thrived this season, Zaha has been a major factor in the club at least keeping their heads above the relegation zone.
The 24-year-old has scored three goals in the league. He may be seen as a replacement for players like Erik Lamela, who are likely to be the first choice attacking players.