The summer transfer window was dominated by talk of Wilfried Zaha’s future and despite the winger remaining on Crystal Palace’s books until January, Palace legend Nigel Martyn feels as though the time is probably right for the academy graduate to fly the nest, with Arsenal the ideal destination.
Despite handing in an official transfer request shortly before the window closed for business, the club’s decision to keep hold of Zaha seemingly hasn’t had any noticeable impact upon his work-rate in training, with the likes of Gary Cahill and James McArthur talking up his approach in the days since; sentiments that were echoed by the former Palace stopper.
Nigel Martyn, speaking exclusively to 888sport said:
If a player wants to go enough and is desperate enough to leave then it’s possibly not in your best interests to try and keep him because you then have a player who doesn’t want to be there. Not that Wilf wants to let the club down in any way. He loves Crystal Palace. He just wants a chance to further his career and go to potentially a bigger club like Arsenal. That’s the type of club he needs to move to. He needs a club that is challenging for the Champions League because that’s the standard that he’s at.
I don’t see him lying down and not trying though. He doesn’t strike me as that type of person. He cares enough about his own club and will give his all until he moves on.
Premier League club’s finances are getting stronger and stronger and all that’s going to do is push prices up but there must be a price eventually that a selling club will take. Wilf is such an important part of Crystal Palace and played a big role in them maintaining their Premier League status these past couple of years so it’s difficult to let someone like that go. On the flip-side you don’t want him there if he’s going to struggle reaching the same level.
No one can know for sure how Palace will work to navigate their way through the January window with Zaha keen to move on but given the difficulty clubs often have sourcing quality players in mid-season, you’d assume those behind the scenes in south London would be reluctant to part with their star man. Will another refusal provoke a similar issue with the player? It’s possible but Wilf and his representatives must accept that the timing has to be right for us to do a deal of such importance.
Read the full 888sport interview with