Crystal Palace chairman Steve Parish has spoken to The Sun’s Neil Ashton about Wilfried Zaha’s future amidst talk of a summer move and whilst I’ll never directly drive traffic towards the publication’s website, I feel it’s only right to examine what has been said in the context of the summer to come.
Predictably, given Parish’s long-term stance when it comes to Wilfried, it doesn’t look as though he’s preparing himself for a future without him, saying openly that he shares Wilfried’s dream of competing on the European stage and would like to utilise the winger’s talents in order to one day do so at Selhurst Park.
The key factor in the quotes Parish has given to Ashton comes in his suggestion that club’s have long believed that they can take players away from SE25 for a fraction of their true market value; a scenario that he is adamant will not be happening when it comes to Zaha this summer. Some will be quick to wonder aloud where that leaves the club if Wilf becomes truly unhappy but having only put pen to paper on a big-money five-year contract a year ago, Parish’s bargaining position remains an extremely strong one.
With a hefty chunk of any fee we do receive for Wilf going straight into Manchester United’s coffers, it’s no surprise to see Steve playing hard-ball in a bid to preempt any bids from clubs that fall dramatically below Palace’s expectations. Yes, the Ajax reference may seem opportunistic and fanciful to many but as the chairman of the club who can really fault him for aiming at the stars? This is a man who has taken Palace from the bottom of the second tier to their longest ever stay in the English top flight inside a decade, with Zaha involved from the very start; of course he’s going to do his utmost to try and keep hold of his star man a little longer.
Wilfried may well end up elsewhere by the time the transfer window closes but it’s clear that if that is to be the case, it will have been done on Steve Parish’s terms, not those of another club looking to short-change Palace whilst taking away their biggest asset.