Crystal Palace fans everywhere have become used to seeing winger Wilfried Zaha linked with moves to other clubs on each and every day of the transfer window but when speaking to the press after our 4-0 victory over Reading last weekend, Andros Townsend was adamant that his 25-year-old teammate must stay at Selhurst Park beyond the looming deadline.
Fans from outside the Palace bubble are always quick to poke fun at Palace for being something of a “one man team” but when you have a player of Zaha’s talent within your ranks, it would be foolish not to use him as the focal point of your attacking efforts.
The likes of Townsend, Patrick van Aanholt, James McArthur and Luka Milivojevic are all top talents in their own right but none have a problem with playing something of a supporting role to Wilfried, given the added dimension he brings to our play whenever he’s on the field. It can sometimes be difficult to explain to neutrals just how important Zaha is to Crystal Palace as a whole, with fans, coaches and teammates all in agreement over the fact that the academy graduate plays the starring role from an attacking perspective.
Is he good enough to start in most if not all of the top six sides in the Premier League? Without a doubt. Does that mean he’d be afforded the same sense of tactical freedom or be given the same degree of unequivocal backing were he to move on? Not a chance.
Each summer, stories swirl over Zaha’s potential departure, with Tottenham having seemingly been linked with a move for him in every window since he returned from Manchester United but if Andros Townsend’s views are echoed by the board of directors and our management staff, I can’t envisage a scenario which sees us sanctioning his sale before the deadline which is set to pass in a few day’s time.