Regardless Of What Happens This Summer, Wilfried Zaha Is A Crystal Palace Legend

Zaha's deal runs out in June and the club have offered him a record £200k per week deal to convince him to stay
09:00, 29 Apr 2023

Wilfried Zaha is heading towards a crossroads at Crystal Palace. The Ivory Coast international is approaching the final months of his current deal at Selhurst Park and he is currently locked in talks over fresh terms, but he wants assurances over the club’s ambitions to contend for European football before he signs.

Zaha is a legend in south London. His contributions to Palace have been immeasurable across his two stints with the club. He played a key role in their promotion back to the Premier League via the Championship play-off final back in 2013 and has been a consistent star when he rejoined in 2015 after an underwhelming move to Manchester United.

The versatile forward has made 454 appearances for the Eagles, making him the third-highest appearance maker in Palace’s history behind Terry Long and Jim Cannon. As a homegrown talent who first joined the club at the age of 12, the supporters are infatuated with him and they would all love him to stay because he is one of their most important players.

2022-23 has been a strange season at Selhurst Park. After promising signs last season under Patrick Vieira, you got the feeling that they were about to start rustling some feathers in a bid to make a charge in the top half of the table after they finished 12th. Their style of football and youthful side had such promise but a year later things haven’t progressed.


Vieira was dismissed last month after a run of 12 games without a win and familiar face Roy Hodgson was brought back to steady the ship until the summer. After 33 games this term, Palace, on 38 points, are a point below where they were last term which is going to leave Zaha with concerns about extending his stay, even though the team still has five games to surpass their record Premier League points total of 49. 

The fans want him to stick around because he has helped the club enjoy their longest top-flight stay in history and they have consistently maintained their place in the division without any real worry - and that is largely thanks to Zaha’s goal involvements. Then there is the matter of him helping the club to their second FA Cup final in 2016 while also helping them reach the semi-finals last year.

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With 89 goals and 76 assists during his Palace career, his contributions cannot be replaced and that is just one of the many reasons why he is adored in south London. The supporters are left excited when he plays, whether it be his old school dances down the wing or his more familiar role through the middle as the clinical finisher, he has given them so much over the past 13 years.

The club are doing everything in their power to convince him to stay, including a club-record contract that will see Zaha pocket £200k per week on a four-year deal that will take him to the age of 34. 

While Zaha may be wondering if the grass might be greener somewhere else at a club that is closer to matching his ambitions, he only needs to cast his mind back to his failed United spell to consider perhaps that step-up is one too far. Arsenal have tried to sign him in the past but they have come a long way since they tried to lure him to north London in 2019. 

Chelsea are reportedly among clubs keeping tabs on Zaha’s situation but he would only need to look at where the Blues are at the minute and their bloated squad to worry about fading into the background if he relocated to Stamford Bridge.

He will be well aware that if he continues his career with the Eagles he will be one of the first names on the team sheet and has the chance to add to his legacy. His concerns of the club’s progress are warranted however, as he has witnessed Brighton & Hove Albion, Aston Villa and newly-promoted Fulham make pushes for Europe. 

Chairman Steve Parish needs the stars to align if Zaha is to stay on. He will need to bring in a coach of some pedigree to help the team, which is filled with talent, to help Zaha get his European wish. Feyenoord boss Arne Slot is one of the names linked with the post and he is on course to win the Eredivisie title this year. 

Zaha is said to be not making a decision until the end of the current campaign. He knows he is the leading man in SE25 and will appreciate the desire from the club to keep him on and make him their highest-paid player ever. Regardless of what happens in the summer, Zaha will go down as one of Palace’s all-time greats and his legacy will be immortalised around Selhurst Park as he has given this club some of the best memories in its history.

Crystal Palace are 300/1 to get relegated with Betfred*

*18+ | BeGambleAware | Odds Subject To Change

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