Wilfried Zaha was in fine form once more against West Bromwich Albion yesterday afternoon, scoring the goal which set us on our way to a comfortable 2-0 victory and after the game, he said the words every Palace fan has been desperate to hear.
Unless you’ve had your head buried in the sand for the last few months, you’ll know that the press speculation linking Wilf with a move away from the club has been incessant, despite him stating time and again that he’s happy to be playing his football in red and blue.
Yesterday, he said so again, in the sort of unequivocal tone that make it impossible for the likes of The Mirror, The Daily Mail or The Sun to twist his words for the sake of a few thousand clicks. I dare say he’s as fed up as the rest of us with the constant chatter about his future and now, ahead of what is sure to be a long and stressful summer, he has at least put all of our minds at rest as to where his loyalties lie.
Plenty of people have prattled on about him “being ready to make the next step” but in truth, he is currently playing the best football of his career, under a manager who understands him, surrounded by teammates who are happy to play to his strengths and a fan-base who worship the ground he walks on, for most footballers within the game, even those at the very top, that is the definition of a dream scenario.
When you factor in the six-figure weekly wage packet that makes him the club’s top earner, the stability of a long-term contract and the locality of the club to all of his friends and family, it’s difficult to think up too many reasons why he’d be straining at the leash to leave. Yes, you could argue that trophies will always be hard to come by in SE25 but having seen what life is like on the other side of the garden fence during his time with Manchester United, you get the feeling that Wilf understands exactly why he shines so brightly in a Palace shirt and is consequently happy to continue the love affair for a fair while yet.
The likes of Tottenham, Manchester City, Arsenal, Liverpool and Chelsea have all been linked to him over the last couple of months but the man himself has now come out and dismissed all talk of him moving to any of them in favour of staying out at Selhurst Park.
As if you needed another reason to love the lad…