Crystal Palace: Wilfried Zaha could face uncertain future at Selhurst Park

Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira

The future of Crystal Palace forward Wilfried Zaha is ‘a really interesting one’ amid continued speculation, according to Sky Sports journalist Michael Bridge.

Zaha is approaching the final 12 months of his current contract at Selhurst Park, and both the player and the club have some big decisions to make over next move.

What is the latest news involving Zaha?

It’s been an exciting and promising season for Palace so far, who will surely be targeting a top-half finish for the first time since 2014/15 after reaching the FA Cup semi-finals.

And Zaha has been the main force spearheading the capital club’s rise under manager Patrick Vieira following his appointment last summer.

In his 30 appearances across all competitions to date, the Ivory Coast international has registered 12 goals and two assists, meaning he has been the most productive player in Palace’s first-team squad.

Yet it remains unclear where Zaha will be plying his trade next term as the creative talent has shown no indication that he is set to put pen to paper on fresh terms or push for a move away.

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However, a recent report in the Daily Mail stated that ‘Palace are open to offers’ for their iconic talisman, especially as he could leave for free the following year.

The report states that the emergence of young stars such as Michael Olise and Eberechi Eze has eased the reliance on Zaha and, therefore, the south London outfit could be prepared to part ways with their leading scorer.

What has Bridge said about Zaha?

Zaha has etched his name into Palace’s history books after racking up 153 goal contributions in 423 appearances for his boyhood club.

But Bridge believes his future will hinge on whether Palace chairman Steve Parish decides to cash in on him while he can.

He told GiveMeSportt: “Yeah, that’s a really interesting one. I’ve not heard anything on him yet. It’s whether Steve Parrish thinks, ‘I don’t want to lose him on a free, I want to get a few quid.’”

Could Palace cope without Zaha?

With Chelsea loanee Conor Gallagher expected to return to his parent club following the conclusion of 2021/22, Palace could lose their two highest goalscorers if Zaha follows him out the exit door.

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Summer signing Odsonne Edouard is the third-top scorer behind Zaha and Gallagher, but he hasn’t found the back of the net since 23 January.

As a result, Zaha appears to remain a pivotal part of Palace’s attacking success, and Vieira may be better off keeping him around beyond his existing contract.

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