For the last year or so, Tottenham Hotspur have been the team most regularly linked with a move for Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha but now, it sounds as though Chelsea are ready to make a serious play for the winger’s services.
The 25-year-old has always been looked upon as an insanely talented player by the Palace faithful but over the last few months, it feels as though the general tide of public opinion is shifting hugely in his favour, following a string of outrageously good performances.
Whilst I can’t envisage a scenario in which he leaves the club during the January transfer window, there will be an incredible amount of interest in him over the summer if he continues to perform at the same levels he has since August. The fact that he signed a big-money five-year contract over the summer obviously leaves Palace and Steve Parish with an extremely strong bargaining position but still, it feels as though talk of him jumping ship will be utterly relentless in the build-up to the 2018-19 season.
For what it’s worth, I’m not 100% sure that a player with Wilf’s specific skill-set would flourish at a club like Chelsea, were he not to be given the same sort of technical and emotional backing he enjoys in SE25. Of course, he’s a vastly different character from the one who made the move to Manchester United four years ago but still, his style demands a certain level of tactical freedom, which I’m still not sure a club like Chelsea would willingly afford him from week to week.
He could temper that spirit and drive in a bid to function as part of a bigger machine and still do a more than passable job for any of the “big four” but the conundrum lies in the fact that the likes of Conte are circling as a consequence of his recent displays, which are unlikely to be repeated with the same regularity in a set-up that doesn’t allow him the freedom of expression he’s granted in red and blue.
We’re a long way from waving goodbye to the Ivory Coast international just yet but even so, it’s a discussion that’s sure to rattle on for months and months. Personally, I feel as though he’d be best served by staying with us as long as we remain a Premier League club but I’m bound to say that, aren’t I?