Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace

Premier League • England

Patrick Vieira influence not enough as Chelsea, Arsenal to battle ‘elite’ clubs for Palace ace

Wilfried Zaha Patrick Vieira Crystal Palace 2022 TEAMtalk1

Star winger Wilfried Zaha will reportedly leave Crystal Palace next summer as a free agent to join one of the world’s ‘elite’ clubs.

The 29-year-old has been with the Eagles since August 2014. He began his professional career at Selhurst Park after coming up through the club’s youth ranks. Manchester United came calling in January 2013 although he was loaned back to Palace for the remainder of 2012-2013.

The Ivory Coast forward failed to make the grade at Old Trafford and was loaned to Cardiff in January 2014.

He never again played for the north-west giants, penning a loan deal with Palace before inking permanent terms in South London.

The rest is history, with Zaha racking up 292 appearances in all competitions and scoring 69 goals. But his contribution to the side is much more than just putting the ball in the net.

He has many assists while an ability to beat defenders and create space for others has won him many plaudits.

The African has enjoyed a superb start to 2022-2023, with four goals from five top-flight appearances. Palace boss Patrick Vieira is eager to tie him down to another deal as he will be out of contract next June.

But Sun journalist Tom Barclay believes the talented wideman will see out the campaign before embarking on his next challenge .

“The noises I’ve got, not to say that this is what’s going to happen, is that the most likely outcome at the moment is that he will leave on a free next summer,” he told GIVEMESPORT.

“Obviously, he’d stand to make a lot of money from any move he would make with the signing-on fee and wages.”

No shortage of suitors for Zaha

Zaha has made no secret of his desire to leave the Eagles during a number of transfer windows. He was heavily linked with a move to Arsenal in 2019 but remained with Crystal Palace.

Both the Gunners and Chelsea were mentioned in connection with the Abidjan-born ace during the recent transfer window. But, once again, he stayed with his boyhood club.

Reports claim that Palace have offered him fresh terms but there has been no sign of a deal being completed. Playing in the Champions League has always been a target for Zaha.

And Barclay feels that is what he will look to accomplish with his next move.

“Also, being a free transfer, he may finally get that move to an elite club, not to disparage Palace, which he’s pushed for many times over the years,” he added. “That probably seems the most likely outcome at the moment.”

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