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Crystal Palace

Tottenham should break bank to sign the irreplaceable Wilfred Zaha

The Ivorian has been absolutely key for Roy Hodgson’s side this season.

Josh Kerr



Photo: Getty Images

Tottenham Hotspur are on the verge of securing their third successive top-four finish and to reach that next level they are going to have to break the bank under Daniel Levy. In terms of signings, Spurs need to look no further than the irreplaceable Wilfred Zaha who has been one of the standout players in the league this season.

The 25-year-old played a vital role in Palace overturning a one-goal deficit to beat Stoke City 2-1 on Saturday, ensuring Palace finally reached that magical 40 point mark that ensures their Premier League safety and sees them flying high 11th in the table.

Palace went 1-0 down early on but goals from James McArthur and Patrick van Aanholt got the three points and ended Stoke’s 10-year stay in the Premier League as Paul Lambert’s side were relegated to the Championship.

Making 28 Premier League appearances this season, the former Manchester United attacker, who was signed by Sir Alex Ferguson, has been involved with almost one goal every two matches. The Ivory Coast international has scored eight, as well as providing five assists for the Eagles this season.

(Photo by Ian Kington/Getty Images)

Zaha has a contract at Selhurst Park for another four years. However, Daniel Levy needs a marquee signing to get the fans excited for their new stadium move next season and Zaha could just be that.

Sky Sports pundits Paul Mesrson and Paul Thompson have also tipped the Palace winger as the best player in the Premier League outside the ‘top-six’ and, despite a price tag estimated at £50 million, Zaha is showcasing he is ready to take his talents to Europe and Spurs can offer him just that.

The PFA Player of the Month for April has been extraordinary for Roy Hodgson’s side this season and has even featured as a striker at times, proving his importance in all areas for Palace. In the nine Premier League games without Zaha, the Eagles have not picked up a single point and have scored just three goals.

After losing their first seven matches without scoring a goal, Hodgson has not only steadied the ship at Selhurst Park but has proved an excellent appointment, turning their season around to take them nine points clear of the drop zone.

Despite struggling under David Moyes at Manchester United, Zaha is demonstrating the quality that legendary manager Ferguson saw in him during his first spell at Palace and, at just 25, his best years are very much ahead of him.

Should Spurs take a gamble and invest in the winger it may be the addition that not only puts in more of a title charge next season but could be the added strength in depth to the squad that can propel them further in Europe.

I am a freelance sports journalist currently studying sports journalism at Staffordshire University with a passion for all things football. I'm a keen supporter of Liverpool Football Club, as well as my local side Forest Green Rovers. I've worked for online newspaper VAVEL UK as well as a media assistant for Chester FC in the Vanarama National League.

Crystal Palace

One winner, one loser as Crystal Palace suffer defeat to Liverpool

Max Cohen



Photo: Getty Images

On Monday night Crystal Palace produced a spirited display against Liverpool but ultimately fell to a 2-0 defeat at Selhurst Park.

The Eagles gave the Reds a run for their money all night, yet James Milner’s penalty and Sadio Mane’s breakaway finish handed Liverpool all three points.

Here is one winner and one loser from the final match of the Premier League week, as the performance spelled good news for Palace’s season but will be a blow for Aaron Wan-Bissaka.

Winner: Crystal Palace’s top-half ambitions

Just a week earlier, Liverpool had dealt West Ham a harsh footballing lesson by thrashing the east Londoners 4-0 at Anfield. The Reds’ front three was unplayable and the new-look squad appeared to have genuine title ambitions.

(Photo by Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images)

But when the Merseyside club made the trip to SE25, they found a far more difficult opponent in Crystal Palace. Roy Hodgson’s side made life uncomfortable all match for Liverpool, playing an aggressive style that denied Liverpool time on the ball and resulted in numerous chances for Palace to take the lead.

In the end, Liverpool only made a breakthrough by way of a penalty, after Andros Townsend had rattled the bar earlier. And although Palace went down to ten men and let in a second goal, the Eagles nonetheless continued to attack and pile on pressure.

Although Crystal Palace took no points from the match, their encouraging performance against one of the league’s top sides is reason to believe they can crack the upper half of the table this campaign.

(Photo by Matthew Ashton – AMA/Getty Images)

Loser: Aaron Wan-Bissaka

The 20-year-old right back continued right where he had left off against Fulham, turning in a brilliant display in the opening half against Liverpool. His superb pace held Mane in check and his adventurous attacking play was a lethal combination with Townsend on the right wing.

Yet unfortunately for the youngster, his night ended prematurely when he took down Mohamed Salah as the Egyptian was through on goal late in the match. A three-match ban will follow, cruelly denying Wan-Bissaka a run in the team just as he was hitting outstanding form.

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Crystal Palace

Wilfried Zaha’s new Crystal Palace deal can keep Eagles soaring

The Ivory Coast international has signed a new deal until 2023.



Photo: Getty Images

A lengthy summer transfer window ended with a sigh of relief for Crystal Palace fans, as Wilfried Zaha remained in south London for the 2018-19 season.

Linked with Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea, the Ivory Coast international remained loyal to the Eagles and has since been rewarded with a lucrative new contract that runs until 2023 – with the club confirming the new deal on Wednesday.

Since *that* disappointing time with Manchester United, Zaha has found his home at Selhurst Park and securing the 25-year-old to a long-term deal is vital for the club’s plans for the coming years – as shown by a remarkable stat.

Since the start of the 2017-18 season, Crystal Palace failed to win a single point in the 10 Premier League matches that Zaha has not started – compared to the average of 1.62 points a game that the Eagles have picked up with their maestro in the side.

His importance was shown last season when, after a woeful start to the season for the south London side, Zaha led the way in a miraculous revival under Roy Hodgson – scoring nine goals and contributing a further three assists.

Zaha hit the ground running against Fulham, opening his account for the campaign on the season’s first round of fixtures, and keeping his services at the club are more important than any of the summer business Hodgson completed in recent months.

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Crystal Palace

Why Roy Hodgson’s Crystal Palace selection headache is a desirable one

The Eagles continued their fine Premier League form under Roy Hodgson against Fulham.

Max Cohen



Roy Hodgson
Photo: Getty Images

After Crystal Palace‘s astute summer transfer business, many expected Roy Hodgson’s side to quickly welcome the new signings into the first team fray.

However, in the Eagles’ Premier League opener against Fulham, none of the four summer arrivals started, and only Cheikhou Kouyate played a part in the match.

Although those decisions were in part due to fitness and lack of training, Roy Hodgson nevertheless faces a selection headache ahead of Palace’s match against Liverpool on Monday.

The desire to stick with last season’s winning formula versus the urge to incorporate summer signings is a tricky situation to navigate, yet it is a positive development for Crystal Palace as it creates competition for spaces and improves squad depth.

The starting XI that dispatched Fulham 2-0 at Craven Cottage was absent of any new signings, with goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey notably getting the nod ahead of Vicente Guaita.

The decision came as a particular surprise as the Standard reported in the build-up to the match that the Spaniard was set to start. Instead, the Welshman kept a clean sheet and turned in a man-of-the-match display.

(Photo by Glyn Kirk/Getty Images)

In this instance, it appears the competition of adding another top-class goalkeeper further propelled Hennessey to perform at a higher level, just one example of why Roy Hodgson has a positive selection headache on his hands.

In central midfield, James McArthur and Luka Milivojevic thrived, with McArthur particularly bright in restricting the play-making qualities of Jean-Michael Seri.

Hodgson brought in Kouyate and Max Meyer to add further reinforcements in central midfield, yet on the evidence of the Fulham match these two new signings may have to wait in order to break into the starting lineup.

Jordan Ayew may also press for inclusion in the coming weeks as he gets to grips with the club, presenting another attacking option for the Eagles.

All four new signings will be raring to go and eager to impress, leaving Hodgson with many difficult calls to make as the season progresses.

Yet, overall, the dilemma is a desirable one, improving the quality of the Crystal Palace squad and creating strength in depth.

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