Roy Hodgson has admitted that Crystal Palace may not be able to hold on to Wilfried Zaha this summer, though he’s hoping they can.
Though Palace’s star forward still has a contract until 2023, it’s starting to seem more and more likely he’ll be on the move before long. At 26 years old, Zaha is approaching his peak years, yet he’s finishing mid-table, exiting cup competitions before the latter stages and sitting out of European tournaments altogether.
With nine goals, three assists and five penalties won leading to goals this season, Zaha is turning a lot of heads. Palace manager Roy Hodgson accepts it would be wrong of him to rule out a summer transfer.
“I’m not ruling out the fact that something like that could come up when we sit down – it would be wrong to do that,” Hodgson said (via The S*n). “The point is that no one at the club has really got any interest in selling Zaha, so we’re rather hoping that we won’t get those offers.
“But I’m realistic and it would be a club issue. The bids don’t come to me any more, the bids come through the chairman himself [Steve Parish] or through [sporting director] Doug Freedman.
“If one day they call me in and say ‘Look, this is the situation’, I shall be in their hands basically. I don’t have the power to veto any decisions of that nature.”
Zaha is an Arsenal fan, and he’s impressed in both matches against the club this season. The Mail on Sunday recently reported that Gunners scouts had been watching him ‘intensely’ this season.
Arsenal need someone like him, as they lack those sorts of individual difference makers and rely more on team goals. Plus, Zaha wouldn’t need time to adapt to the Premier League after signing.
The problem is that Palace are only willing to do business for well above £50m, according to the Mail, which probably rules Arsenal out. We’ll see what happens this summer.