As one of the most beloved players in modern Crystal Palace history, Wilfried Zaha is arguably a trophy away from being a club legend. Having played close to 400-games in the club colours, Zaha has become an icon for Palace fans of all ages. His aggressive dribbling, stylish trickery, and outstanding engine make him a player that is easy to love. However, the Ivory Coast international has been clear for more than a few seasons that exiting from Palace would be something he would consider. So far, though, no deal has ever come to fruition.
Clubs as varied as Everton, Tottenham Hotspur, and Arsenal have all tried to make the signing stuck in previous summers to no avail. This year, though, the deal might be different. It is believed that Zaha has been clearer than ever about his desire to move on. As opposed to previous summers when the Ivorian considered moving on, this year he is keen to try out something new and move on entirely from his time in South London.
However, as ever, Palace will do what is right for the club. Could the club lose its marquee talent this summer?
Will Wilfried Zaha leave Crystal Palace in 2021?
While it might have been mooted for years, this feels like the first time when it is most likely to happen. Palace have been open in the past about the desire to keep the player, but now there is an increasing likelihood that this summer they relent. In an interview with BBC Sport, chairman Steve Parish was open about the opportunity – though was clear that it has to suit all involved.
Speaking to the BBC, Parish said: “We understand his position. It’s no secret that he would like to challenge himself. But it has to be right for the football club. He understands that as well.
“If those two things collide then we will have to look at it. But right now, we are two days into the transfer window so it’s a bit early to talk about it.”
As part of a wider interview about the upcoming Amazon documentary about the club, charting the trip from near-liquidation to Premier League regulars, Parrish noted that Zaha scored the first goal of the new era. Seen as an icon for the club, he’s become a player who is more or less associated entirely with Palace. Returning after a poor spell at Manchester United, Zaha has removed any doubt about his suitability for football at the highest level.
Today, though, fans will be sad to hear that this is likely the last time he will be play for Palace. Despite being a crucial part of the clubs recent history, and without doubt their lead player in the Premier League years, an exit feels almost inevitable.