Over the last couple of years there has been a never-ending stream of speculation linking Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha with a move to Tottenham Hotspur but one ex-Spurs man is now urging the winger to resist their advances and stay put in SE25.
Having first burst onto the scene back in 2010, it didn’t take long for the Premier League “big boys” to sit up and take of the precocious young talent from south of the river, with Manchester United (then led by the all-powerful Alex Ferguson) eventually winning the race to sign him in 2013.
Sadly for Wilf, after helping the Eagles to win promotion before setting off for the bright lights of Old Trafford, he was forced to come to terms with the fact that the man responsible for taking him to The Theatre of Dreams had just hung up his hairdryer, picking the altogether less inspiring David Moyes as his own immediate replacement.
An unsuccessful period (including a failed loan move to Cardiff City) followed, during which time Zaha saw his confidence and natural flair take a pounding. Regularly overlooked by Moyes who bafflingly seemed to prefer Adnan Januzaj, it looked as though Wilf’s big gamble had failed; until a deal was brokered for him to return home and start about rebuilding his shattered reputation.
Now, more than three years on from his move back to Selhurst Park, the 25-year-old has got the great and the good of English football drooling again, fuelling talk of a move to Mauricio Pochettino’s upwardly mobile Tottenham but alongside Palace fans’ pleas for their talisman to stick around, there are a fair few neutral voices urging him to do the same.
Of course, from Tottenham’s perspective, the prospect of having another skilful, pacy wide man available for selection seems like a nice idea on paper but it wouldn’t take a lot for Zaha’s reported price-tag of £50 million to be called into question by a sporting press who have routinely looked to deride the the south Londonder in the past.
At Palace, he is and will remain the very definition of a big fish in a moderately sized pond, whilst at Spurs, he would simply be acting as another cog in an already well balanced machine. Would he react well to a change of scenery such as that? I for one aren’t sure but with the season now reaching its closing stages I feel obligated to ask why exactly he’d be so keen to risk losing everything he has with us after such a traumatic break-up the first time around?
It’s not often I say this but I agree with Garth Crooks.