Wilfried Zaha has been one of the standout players in the Premier League season and will be on Liverpool’s shortlist come this summer’s transfer window.
For Crystal Palace, Zaha has almost single-handedly kept them in the league this season, with the Eagles losing every game in which Zaha has not featured.
With Spurs’ the favourites to bring in Zaha (given their January interest that didn’t materialise and bids in 2016 rejected), Liverpool are ready to compete with the London club for Wilfried Zaha’s signature, according to The Mirror.
In fact, Zaha may have his choice of every top six club – except for his ex-club Manchester United who have no immediate interest in the Ivorian.
Zaha has been the driving force for Roy Hodgson’s side this season, making the transition from a tricky winger to a potent striker – he has been able to demonstrate his abilities but also the range of roles he can play across the attacking line. Zaha joined United in 2013 as a mercurial talent, a speedy flair player with no real direction or utility which was the reason behind his initial rejection by Sir Alex Ferguson.
However, in the coming years, he would bulk up, become more aggressive, more effective and a better all-round player. His trajectory emulating Mo Salah in many aspects, an outcast winger forced to prove himself elsewhere before returning to the heights of the Premier League’s elite players.
Klopp would be extremely eager to bring this type of player to Anfield, with depth in attacking positions desperately needed if Liverpool are to challenge for a long-awaited Premier League title next season.
Zaha has been arguably more important to Palace this season than Salah has been to Liverpool – carrying the hopes of Premier League survival on his back and being all the more impressive despite this burden.
Recently winning the Eagles’ player of the season award for the third successive year, it may be time for Zaha to move on and be given the chance to compete in the Champions League.
Palace will have no intention of selling their attacking talisman this summer, but given the pulling power of England’s top clubs, it will be hard for them to hold onto their prized asset.
With the player under contract until 2022, the ball is very much in Palace’s park. Former Palace chairman Simon Jordan believes it will take a mammoth bid for the club to even consider selling up:
“I think Wilfried Zaha is a £50million to £70million player in this marketplace. If you put him in a side that has some real balance and poise about it, you’d only get more from him” said Jordan.
“I think £50m would be the lowest he should go for. I think he’ll go for nearer £70m, but I don’t think Palace have any desire to sell him.”
Steve Parish, the current part-owner who saved the club from administration in 2010 has been backed by American investors and owners Joshua Harris and David Blitzer since 2015. An initial investment of £50m was to be used to upgrade facilities and help the club solidify themselves in the Premier League which has proven very successful for the investors.
They are by no means hard striped of cash, which could make a deal less likely as the club are not in a situation where they have to sell.
The thoughts of the owners will certainly align with current manager Roy Hodgson, who is confident that Palace can hold onto Zaha this summer:
“I don’t blame other clubs for coveting him, but I believe he will still be our player next season. He must be very pleased that so many people are mentioning his name, you can’t do anything about speculation and it always crops up.”
Should they lose Zaha, it would be catastrophic for the club who even with a huge injection of funds, would struggle to find a player to replace him: “I don’t want it to happen at all” said Hodgson, “I would be very unhappy to see the day he leaves the club, I hope he will be here long after I am. This is his club and he knows how much we and the fans value him.”