Crystal Palace forward Wilfried Zaha wants to stay at the club this summer despite speculation linking him the likes of Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur.
The Ivory Coast international is enjoying the finest season of his career and has been vital in Palace's move clear of relegation trouble in recent weeks. Rumours about his future have gathered pace of late, but Zaha told his club's website he is delighted playing his football where he is (h/t Ed Malyon of The Independent):
"Crystal Palace is my hometown, and the support we have here is genuine support, with families watching with their kids loving us as players, so I don’t really see myself anywhere else. I am enjoying my football here and just focused on us being a stable club and not having to listen to all the speculation about us getting relegated."
As Malyon noted, Tottenham tried to land Zaha last summer. The north London club is said to still hold an interest in the 25-year-old.
According to Sky Sports, City are also keeping an eye on the former Manchester United man's development.
Admiring glances from teams so high up the table are not a surprise, as many would argue that outside the division's top six clubs, there's no better player than Zaha. As Sky Sports Statto noted, he's one of the most prolific players Palace have had in the top flight:
Zaha has had time at the top before, moving to Manchester United from Palace in 2013 amid much fanfare. However, he struggled to make an impact at Old Trafford, and following a loan back to the Eagles, he re-signed with the club in 2015.
While there are still raw facets to his game that may prevent some top clubs from making a move for Zaha, he can be devastating. The winger has it all, including blistering pace, flair and a physical frame that makes him hard to knock off the ball.
There have been marked improvements in his decisions in the final third under Roy Hodgson's leadership, chipping in with seven goals this season. As Squawka Football noted, his brace against Brighton & Hove Albion in the recent 3-2 win was another step forward:
Most teams in Palace's position would find it tough to hold on to Zaha, although his previous venture to the top may work in their favour.
After all, they appear set to stay in the Premier League after a ropey start, and it's clear Zaha is content with life in south London. Additionally, in Hodgson, the forward appears to have a coach capable of getting the best out of him.
Palace's play is channeled through Zaha, and he's beginning to relish the responsibility of being the main man in the final third. He will surely be keen to test himself at the highest level again one day, but he doesn't appear in any rush to leave his boyhood club.