Wilfried Zaha Reportedly Targeted by 5 of EPL's Top 6 Clubs in Latest Rumours

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistMay 11, 2018

Crystal Palace's Ivorian striker Wilfried Zaha celebrates after scoring the equalising goal during the English Premier League football match between Stoke City and Crystal Palace at the Bet365 Stadium in Stoke-on-Trent, central England on May 5, 2018. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. /         (Photo credit should read OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images)
OLI SCARFF/Getty Images

Five of the Premier League's top six clubs are reportedly ready to make a move for Crystal Palace forward Wilfried Zaha at the end of the campaign. 

According to Adrian Kajumba of the Daily Mirror, the only member of the top six that is not interested in the Ivory Coast international is Manchester United, whom Zaha played for previously.

Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City are all said to be ready to compete for the 25-year-old.

"Zaha said last week that he doesn't see himself anywhere other than Palace but also wouldn't be put off joining one of the league's elite if the chance came around to test himself at a higher level again despite his disappointing experience at Old Trafford," Kajumba reported. "Palace have no desire to sell their player of the year and talisman Zaha, whose current contract runs until 2022."

It's said that Tottenham have been admirers of Zaha since 2016, when they had two bids rejected for the winger. They are reprtedly ready to make a fresh move in the upcoming transfer window.

Zaha has been crucial to Palace surviving this season.
Zaha has been crucial to Palace surviving this season.MB Media/Getty Images

Liverpool have recently had their interest piqued by the player, whereas City may be considering Zaha as an alternative if they are unable to strike a deal for Leicester City star Riyad Mahrez.

Arsenal and Chelsea are both said to be admirers, although uncertainty over their managerial situations may prevent them making moves.

Zaha has been catching the eye throughout the campaign, and his form was recognised with the Premier League Player of the Month Award for April:

Wilfried Zaha @wilfriedzaha

Buzzzing to get my first @premierleague POTM award. Thanks for all your support! 🏆 #CPFC #GodIsGreat https://t.co/rjqk7e1xaA

He's a crucial part of Roy Hodgson's Palace side, developing into a talisman for the south London club and coming up with some crucial moments.

Zaha has eight goals and three assists for the Eagles this term, but his influence extends beyond those numbers. His penchant for the spectacular, his pace, power and technical ability—not to mention a new-found versatility—has made him impossible for defenders to handle at times this season.

The winger struggled when he moved to United in 2013. He was loaned out to Cardiff City in January 2014 and then back to Palace before rejoining on a permanent deal in 2015.

Phil Blundell of The Anfield Wrap believes there are still areas of Zaha's game that would prevent an elite side going after the winger:

Philip Blundell @PhilBlundell

Wilfried Zaha is far more raw than a 25 year old with his ability should be. He's clearly got huge ability but you look at him and his decision making looks like that of someone much younger a lot of the time. Be amazed if one of the top sides pay the money for him.

However, these numbers from Sky Sports Statto point to a player who is improving all the time:

Sky Sports Statto @SkySportsStatto

Wilfried Zaha Career best 8 PL goals this season Palace have lost all 10 PL games he hasn't started Most dribbles attempted in PL this season (223) Is he a contender for @SkySportsMNF #MNFAwards Most Improved Player? https://t.co/MV01EhpVVr

While there's no doubt he's matured as a footballer and person, one of the main reasons Zaha has been effective for Palace this season is that all of their attacking play is funnelled through him. At some of the clubs reported to be interested, he would be more of a supporting player.

Still, interest will inevitably arrive, and it will be a huge decision for Zaha to make because he's clearly at ease with life in south London at a team he has a huge affinity with.


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.