open menulivescore

Transfer Talk: Time for Eagles legend Zaha to fly the nest
Copy icon

Adam Drury
Wilfried Zaha could leave Crystal Palace this summer
Wilfried Zaha could leave Crystal Palace this summer

A Wilfried Zaha saga is always on the transfer window agenda.

The winger has been back at Crystal Palace for nine years and linked with a move away on a regular basis since, with Arsenal, Tottenham and Borussia Dortmund tending to be the highest-profile interested parties.

Despite his best efforts, an exit has never materialised and he is now established as one of Palace's best ever players.

Out of contract this summer, however, the prospect of Zaha lining up for the Eagles next season is looking unlikely.

Long time coming

After a move to Manchester United early in his career did not work out, Zaha has spent much of his subsequent nine seasons at Selhurst Park itching for another shot at the big time.

He handed in a doomed transfer request in 2019 and in 2021 was quoted as saying: "I have given my all to the club. I will always be ambitious and if there are opportunities I will have a look at them. 

"I want to play at the highest level and win trophies to show my kids."

The winger signed new deals at Palace in 2017 and 2018, though, leaving interested clubs scared off by a daunting asking price.

With his contract now run down, the Ivory Coast international can finally negotiate with prospective suitors on his own terms.

Changing of the guard

Crystal Palace relied less on Wilfried Zaha last season
Crystal Palace relied less on Wilfried Zaha last season

The time may be right for Palace to wave goodbye to their talisman, too.

Whereas the South Londoners had been hugely reliant on Zaha in the past — they lost eight consecutive games without him in the 2017-18 season and one won of their 11 in his absence in 2020-21 — they now have other quality attackers to call upon.

They lost just three of the 13 games he did not play last season, scoring 17 goals, with Eberechi Eze and Michael Olise stealing the headlines.

Manager Roy Hodgson said in May: "We have been very, very dependent upon Wilf for a long time.

"We were unbelievably grateful to him for the performances he gave. Now, with Eze and Olise, there is more support for the attacking side of the game."

Key contributor

Wilfried Zaha had another solid season for Crystal Palace
Wilfried Zaha had another solid season for Crystal Palace

Still, should he depart, Palace would miss Zaha's output.

Known best for his ball-carrying, the former England player ranked second in the Premier League for dribbles per game last season.

He also ranked second for shots per match in Palace's squad and only Eze scored more goals.

By winning the ball back in the attacking third more often than any team-mate, he proved his pressing game is decent, too.

Free choice

Available for no transfer fee, the world is seemingly Zaha's oyster.

Paris Saint-Germain are the highest-profile club to show an interest, although Palace's leading Premier League goalscorer would have to accept limited playing time should he make the switch there.

He also has options in Italy, where Roma and Lazio are contenders for his signature, while a mega-money move to Saudi Arabia is also said to be on the table.

Aged 30, this feels like Zaha's last shot at reaching the pinnacle of the game. He will hope he has not already left it too late.


Premier LeagueCrystal PalaceWilfried Zaha
LiveScore logo

LiveScore: Live Sport Updates

Footbal Scores & Sports News

App storeGoogle play