Keeping hold of Wilfried Zaha could be Steve Parish’s best piece of business at Crystal Palace, according to journalist Tom Barclay.
Zaha, valued at £40.5m by Transfermarkt, has been the Eagles’ talisman for a number of seasons since his breakthrough into the first-team and whilst he did leave briefly for Manchester United in 2013, he’s stayed loyal ever since.
How close did Zaha come to leaving Palace?
There were three years in particular where it seemed like the Ivorian international would finally part ways with Palace and get his move away.
Having scored an impressive 10 goals and chipped in with 10 assists in the Premier League in 2018-2019, Zaha caught the attention of Arsenal, who were actively looking to sign him.
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Later that month, Everton bid slightly higher (£52m), although that still wouldn’t appeal to Palace, who stood firm and rejected it.
Zaha would eventually submit a transfer request just days before the start of the new season, but he ended up staying at Selhurst Park despite strong interest.
12 months later, Palace were willing to listen to offers for the 29-year-old, but no concrete bids were reported and Zaha once again remained at his boyhood club.
Once again, though, nothing materialised and Palace clung onto Zaha, who’s scored four goals in 10 appearances this season.
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Despite three difficult summer’s over Zaha’s future, Parish has managed to fend off interest on each occasion and therefore Barclay has raved over the Palace chairman’s role in keeping him.
What did Barclay say about Parish?
When asked whether keeping Zaha at the club is his best piece of business, Barclay told GIVEMESPORT: “That’s a fair shout. I think Parish has played a blinder because without Zaha in the last few years they would have been relegated or have been close to because he’s been so crucial, and he’s managed to hold on to him.”
What does the future hold for Zaha?
It feels like Zaha’s chance to leave Palace and sign for a bigger club has gone, but that doesn’t mean he won’t leave in some capacity.
Newcastle’s takeover could lead to interest, although it’s unlikely Zaha would leave Palace to a team that are essentially worse than them, especially with Patrick Vieira making such big strides.
Once the summer comes around, Zaha will have entered the final 12 months of his deal, so unless Palace are prepared to let him leave for free in 2023, it’s simply now or never for him.