Aaron Wan-Bissaka has joined Wilfried Zaha as one of Crystal Palace’s biggest assets since breaking into the first-team little over a year ago but with a host of super-clubs circling, Guardian journalist Dominic Fifield has hinted that the club may indeed consider selling the full-back, if the price is right.
Whilst 99% of Palace fans will be desperate to keep hold of Wan-Bissaka for the rest of his days, the club’s planned rebuild of Selhurst Park, coupled with Aaron’s obvious value in the transfer market has left Dom feeling as though the Palace board may well sanction a move, if they feel the money on offer is simply too good to turn away.
It should be said that Fifield hasn’t exactly sold the player or Palace short in estimating Wan-Bissaka’s cost at somewhere in the region of £50 million; a valuation that many outside the Palace bubble have been slow to catch up to. With Selhurst Park’s rebuild not coming cheap, it goes without saying that a sum that large would help finance a significant chunk of it but even so, it feels as though you’d have rather a lot of disappointed fans questioning the ambition behind the scenes simultaneously.
We have always been told that the planned redevelopment in SE25 won’t impact the transfer budgets available to the club but as everyone has seen with the likes of Arsenal and Tottenham in recent years, stadium work will always have some form of knock-on effect later down the line. From a purely economic perspective, the prospect of receiving more than £50 million for an academy product with 13 months of professional experience sounds like a no-brainer but given Wan-Bissaka’s potential, you do wonder if the club would in fact be selling themselves short.
In many ways, the biggest barrier over the possible sales of both Aaron and Wilfried Zaha is the emotional attachment the supporters have towards them as academy graduates. Palace fans love nothing more than homegrown talent and in this pairing, we have two of the best players ever to emerge from our youth system.
Were we to sell both this summer, we’d probably be looking at £120 million or more coming into the club coffers but at what cost emotionally to the fans and players who remain? Running a football club really is a balancing act.