With every passing day edging closer to the mid-season transfer window, it appears like Wilfried Zaha’s move to White hart Lane would happen shortly but Crystal Palace are planning to pour cold water over the possibilities. The Eagles will repel away any offers from Tottenham Hotspur and set to offer the fleet-footed winger a contract extension.
The former Manchester United midfielder is by far the most exciting player at Palace despite the club not being on par with his performance. Sam Allardyce took over the reign from Alan Pardew not long ago and certainly holds immense responsibilities to turn fortunes around. He will be without Zaha for a number of crucial matches as the 24-year-old will be joining Ivory Coast for the African Cup of Nations. However, a hiccup is way better than starving without him for the rest of the season.
Zaha’s current contract runs until 2020 with wages around £40,000 a week (via Guardian). It’s pretty low considering his contribution and newcomers like Christian Benteke, Yohan Cabaye and Andros Townsend pay cheques are far more exciting. For the uninitiated, Zaha is Palace’s academy product and holds a strong bonding with the club’s chairman, Steve Parish. He previously was unhappy with the winger lacking opportunity with England as he only holds two caps, both coming in friendlies in 2012 and 2013. Since then things were not rosy and now Zaha has committed his future to Ivory Coast. If both the manager and chairman are covering your back, things are evidently healthy in the dressing room too.
Thus the box left unticked is an improvised money package, the only route for other clubs to tempt him away. Talks were put forward last campaign to equal his earning with Scott Dann’s £65,000 a week deal yet in all likelihood, a greater deal is expected this time around.
Spurs, on the other hand, have kept on the coattails for European football next season and their recent 4-1 triumph over Southampton away from home justifies their potential. However, for the most part of the season, particularly when star striker Harry Kane was out with an injury, Mauricio Pochettino’s men lacked ideas in the final third. In fact, back in summer, the Argentinean did admit that his team are short of pace at the attacking end and did place a bid for Zaha for £12 million, a comical fee, given the £25 to £30 million price-tag on his head.
Zaha has all passable replicas that a manager looks for in a winger and he has proved it this season with standout performances. In hindsight, splashing the cash for primary targets could have been the ideal solution. Perhaps all would be well if Erik Lamela could stay fit as his summer signings have let him down too.
However, Zaha will put aside his club future at the moment and pull up his sleeves to fight for a spot for Ivory Coast. Following an injury to Gervinho, he might get the nod straight away.