Much of the media noise surrounding Wilfried Zaha in the last week has revolved around which club he’ll end up signing for this summer but in the mind of former Palace striker Clinton Morrison, the Eagles cannot afford to let the 26-year-old go unless they receive a truly massive fee.
Whilst the likes of Arsenal, Tottenham and Manchester United have all been linked with £30-40 million bids for the academy graduate, Clinton is adamant that the size of the rebuild necessary upon Zaha’s departure would require far more in the way of finding, given the winger’s importance in the current first-team set-up.
To most outside the Palace bubble, the idea that Zaha is worth anything close to £80 million seems absolutely bonkers but when you consider how important he’s been to our chances of remaining in the Premier League over recent seasons, anything less than that would feel to those inside the club as if we were cutting our noses off to spite our face. In that sense, I can’t help but give credit to Morrison for speaking so boldly about the pivotal role Zaha plays at Palace; saying quite rightly that the wide man often wins us games single-handedly.
Whilst Wilf has expressed a desire to move on from Selhurst Park this summer, it is yet to become a formal request, giving everyone at Palace hope of turning his mind around to the idea of staying put for another season or even longer. Admittedly, at the age of 26, you could argue that Zaha’s career is at something of a tipping point but regardless of his talismanic presence in SE25, there are genuine doubts over whether or not he’d be a guaranteed starter for many of England’s Champions League regulars. Is he happy to be a rotational option after spending so long as a big fish in a moderately sized pond? Only time will tell but for a man who’s become so accustomed to being the go-to attacking threat, it may come as a rather severe culture shock.
In Morrison we have a former player who is Palace through and through. Despite his desire to play elsewhere as things stand, I maintain a belief that Zaha himself holds the club in similar esteem. Hopefully Steve Parish, Roy Hodgson and co. can convince him to remain with us for another few years yet.