With the January transfer window now just weeks away from opening, one issue which is already being talked about is the future of Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha. The 25-year-old has played a crucial role in Palace’s revival under new manager Roy Hodgson and is subsequently now attracting interest from a number of other Premier League sides.
The former Manchester United winger is reportedly attracting interest from the likes of Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool. However, we take a look at three reasons why Zaha should opt to stay at Selhurst Park until the end of the season at the very least.
Playing well under the management of Hodgson
Zaha has already found the back of the net four times for Palace this season in the 12 appearances he has made so far which for a side near the bottom of the division, is not a bad record. Some of these strikes have been crucial winning goals that have played a key part in Palace pulling themselves out of the relegation zone. They currently find themselves sat in 14th, two points clear of danger and it is safe to say that without Zaha’s contribution they would be in much deeper trouble.
Due to the form he is currently in, it could make sense for Zaha to stay where he is until at least the end of the season. If he was to move on, it could take time for him to settle in at his new club which could result in a dip in form. There is always an element of risk when moving club and Zaha may be better off staying at Selhurst Park and ensuring that his side do not suffer relegation down to the Championship.
Would he be guaranteed a place in the starting line-up?
One of the main areas Zaha must consider when deciding whether to move on in the January transfer window is whether he will actually be good enough to start regularly for the likes of City, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool. For example, City currently sit 11 points clear at the top of the Premier League and already have both Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sane in superb form. Therefore, it seems unlikely that Zaha would walk straight into Pep Guardiola’s starting line-up.
However, Arsenal is a side that Zaha would have a more realistic chance of starting regularly for. Arsene Wenger does not have many quality wingers at his disposal and with the future of Alexis Sanchez still very much in doubt, Zaha could be a perfect replacement to some extent. The last thing Zaha wants is to make a big money move only to be sat on the bench which would hinder his progress significantly.
Does he owe Palace his loyalty?
Zaha has always had potential to develop into a top player and play at the very highest level. This was highlighted by Sir Alex Ferguson’s decision to sign him for Manchester United in 2013 for a hefty fee. Despite the fact that it did not work out in the end at Old Trafford, he has managed to get his career back on track at Selhurst Park in recent years. Due to the fact that Palace gave him another chance to prove himself in the top flight, he might feel that he owes them his loyalty for a few more years at least before he makes another big-money move to further his career.