Wilfried Zaha: Most Likely January Transfer Destinations

Karl MatchettFeatured ColumnistJanuary 2, 2013

Wilfried Zaha: Most Likely January Transfer Destinations

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    With the January transfer window now up and running, some of the Premier League's top sides will be looking to perhaps add the one or two pieces of the jigsaw which could give them the edge on their rivals.

    One of the most in-demand players in England right now actually plays in the Championship—Crystal Palace's Wilfried Zaha.

    The 20-year-old attacker has already managed to get one England cap to his name and is said to command a transfer fee of between £10 million and £15 million, with plenty of Champions League-chasing sides interested in securing his services.

    Here are the four teams which appear to be the most likely destinations for the youngster if he does indeed leave Palace this month.

Arsenal

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    Arsene Wenger loves to pluck a youngster from the second tier of English football, doesn't he?

    Following in the footsteps of Theo Walcott and Aaron Ramsey, at least according to the Daily Mail, will be the Palace forward who will provide competition for the likes of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

    Wenger has always favoured pacey wide attackers to complement a central striker, and Zaha could certainly fit into the Gunners' system of play in the immediate future, with the possibility of him occupying a more central role in the attack as well.

    Arsenal have money to spend if they want to, and, trailing the top four as they do at present, Zaha could certainly be offered playing time if Wenger thinks he already has the talent to be a match-winner in the top flight.

Manchester United

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    With Nani unimpressive this season and Ashley Young having suffered a few injuries Sky Sports have reported that Manchester United want to add Wilfried Zaha to their own ranks.

    United have utilised a few different formations in midfield this season, and Zaha certainly has the capacity to adapt to each of them, though he might find himself more of an impact substitute at Old Trafford than he would be elsewhere.

    Zaha is, of course, easily within United's financial reach, and Alex Ferguson does have a track record of playing young, tricky attackers. A move to United could be a career maker for the Palace starlet—if he has the patience to develop on the fringes.

Tottenham Hotspur

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    Quite possibly the most interesting move might be to Andre Villas-Boas' Spurs side.

    Aaron Lennon and Gareth Bale are, of course, Spurs' first-choice wingers on any given week, but when either of them are missing, they turn to a very different type of player to take their place.

    The technical qualities of Gylfi Sigurdsson or the intelligence and movement of Clint Dempsey shouldn't be questioned, of course, but Zaha would allow Villas-Boas to line up with the same intent as with his preferred XI.

    Mirror Football claim that Spurs might be in pole position to secure Zaha's signature this month, with a lower £8 million fee believed to be on the table.

Manchester City

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    While this might not be the most appealing final destination for Zaha if he has designs on playing regularly, Manchester City will naturally be interested in signing him.

    David Silva and Samir Nasri pretty well have the wide roles sewn up at the Etihad Stadium, and with James Milner around too, a place in the team is hard to come by—as Scott Sinclair is finding out.

    Nevertheless, City have made it known they want to buy younger players with potential to become top-class ones, and Zaha looks to fit the bill for a lot of sides at present. Mirror Football again has the Manchester club interested in taking him from London.

    It is worth noting that wherever Zaha ends up—and he might not even leave midway through the season yet—the Guardian state that Palace are insistent that a loan deal for the rest of the present campaign is included as part of the purchase agreement.

    In that instance, perhaps a move to Manchester City becomes more appealing after all, as Zaha will still get the chance to play regularly for the rest of the year before fighting it out with the rest of his teammates during the summer with everybody starting from the same point.