As has been the case all summer, stories about a move to bring Wilfried Zaha from Manchester United continue to fill column inches up and down the country, with the Sunday People’s Alan Nixon claiming that Newcastle are now looking to steal a march on Crystal Palace and Nottingham Forest in a bid to sign the 21-year-old winger.
Having struggled to settle in to life at Old Trafford under the guidance of David Moyes, Zaha will no doubt have been energised by the appointment of Louis Van Gaal this summer, but following a pre-season tour in which the Palace academy graduate has struggled to impose himself fully on the first-team, there are many who believe his time in Manchester could well be drawing to a close.
With the transfer fee agreed between Palace and United for Zaha standing at an initial £10 million, the report claims that a bid of around £7 million would be enough to tempt his current club into a sale, which, given our frugal approach in the transfer market so far this summer, is definitely a sum Pulis and the Palace owners could afford to spend, if they felt Zaha offered enough to the squad to warrant a move.
Whilst the fresh interest from Newcastle could scupper any plans we have to bring the winger back to SE25 should it prove to be genuine, there will almost certainly be a part of Zaha that is curious over whether a return to Palace could see him rediscover the form that caused his stock to rise so rapidly beforehand. Whilst at both Manchester United and Cardiff City, he has been expected to produce flashes of brilliance, a move back to where it all began for him would bring with it a level of comfort and familiarity that you cannot cultivate without the history that Wilf shares with his first club.
There are a great number of Palace fans who see a move for Zaha as a backwards step, but should all of the speculation eventually result in a deal that sees him playing in a red and blue shirt before the transfer window closes, the vast majority of the negative noises would disappear, giving way to a sense of nostalgia. At their core, football fans are hopeless romantics, and despite there being a level of logic to the worries over what a return could do to the winger’s legacy at Palace, there is a part of me that is absolutely desperate to see it happen.