Crystal Palace are willing to listen to offers for Wilfried Zaha this summer, as revealed by The Times.
What’s the latest transfer news involving Zaha?
However, that appears to have now changed, as it is claimed that the club will consider offers above £35m for the attacker.
Is this surprising news?
It is somewhat.
The south London club previously turned down an offer of £70m plus Cenk Tosun and James McCarthy from Everton in 2019, so it is clear that they rate Zaha highly.
Now, it seems they are ready to let him go for a significantly lower fee than the one they could have got two years ago, which appears to be a strange decision.
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How important is Zaha to Palace?
It would be unfair to label Palace a one-man team, but there can be no doubting just how important Zaha is to making the side click.
In 2020/21, he was directly involved in more league goals (13) than any of his teammates, and he completed 54 successful dribbles – only Eberechi Eze (64), who is now out injured for several months, managed more (via WhoScored).
Zaha is often the player that Palace rely on to take the game to the opposition, and more often that not, he delivers.
Are Palace in danger of making themselves look foolish?
If this claim about Zaha’s price-tag proves to be correct, then they certainly are.
The club could have got an astonishing amount of money for Zaha in 2019, but they decided that they wanted to keep him at all costs. At the time, it was debatable as to whether they had made the right decision or not, but given this latest report it now seems that they should have taken the offer back then.
Of course, Zaha is now a couple of years older, and given that he turns 29 later this year, it could be argued that he is coming towards the latter stages of his peak, so his valuation is bound to drop.
However, with the 18-cap Ivory Coast international scoring 11 top-flight goals this year to show he still has plenty to offer, his price-tag should not have been lowered so dramatically.
Bearing in mind that Palace already know that they are going to be without Eze for the first part of next season, it makes no sense for them to let Zaha move on for a relatively cheap fee.
Patrick Vieira has only just taken the job but he could start the Premier League season next month without his two best forwards – one of them leaving permanently – and not much to show for it in the transfer kitty.