The Sun journalist Tom Barclay believes Wilfried Zaha could be the star man of the new era for Crystal Palace if the Eagles can tie him down to a new contract.
The South London club appointed Patrick Vieira as their new manager during the summer, amid a transfer window which saw significant changes in playing personnel.
Several experienced players left Selhurst Park, including Gary Cahill and Andros Townsend, while the Eagles made six first-team additions, with four being aged 23 or younger.
What is the latest news on Wilfried Zaha’s contract situation?
Zaha’s contract is currently due to expire in 2023 but after signing with agency CAA Base Ltd, Alan Nixon reported that there could be a new deal on the horizon for Palace talisman.
Eurosport have also suggested that Zaha is in line for a new deal, with Crystal Palace fearing he could be a target for some of Europe’s elite in the coming transfer windows.
Zaha recently publicly stated that he’s improving under his new manager. As quoted by The Evening Standard, he said: “Am I improving? Yeah, because I feel the pressure to do more and do better because he expects more from me.”
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What has Tom Barclay said about Zaha?
Barclay told GIVEMESPORT that Zaha – who Transfermarkt value at £40.5m – could the star man of this new era at Selhurst Park under Vieira, provided Palace do manage to agree fresh terms with him.
The journalist told GMS: “If they can get him a new contract, he could be the absolute star man for this new era at Palace which is looking very, very promising at the moment.”
An old head in a new era?
It may seem somewhat paradoxical to claim Zaha could be the star of Palace’s new era – after all, he was their talismanic entity during the last one and is now 29 years of age.
But with so many young players making the starting XI these days, Zaha’s quality, experience and leadership abilities could actually make him more vital than ever before.
And while the likes of summer signing Michael Olise and last term’s breakout star Eberechi Eze are still establishing themselves at this level, Zaha does remain Palace’s biggest talent by quite some distance.
If Palace can agree a new contract with Zaha and keep him performing at the same level across the next few years, there’s no reason why he can’t remain the star entity at Selhurst Park for the foreseeable future.