Wilfried Zaha

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Report: Man City, Chelsea, Arsenal chase Wilfried Zaha

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Wilfried Zaha is in fine form and a report from the Daily Mirror states that Manchester City have joined the race to sign the Crystal Palace winger.

After recovering from an early season injury, Zaha, 25, is in the form of his life for the Eagles and scored a fine goal in their 3-0 win at Leicester City this weekend.

Per the report, City are willing to bid close to $55 million for the Ivory Coast international as they are lining him up in case a deal for Alexis Sanchez doesn’t go through. It is also believed both Arsenal and Chelsea are eager to sign the former Manchester United winger.

Zaha’s ability is undoubted with his pace and trickery on the break a key factor in Palace dragging themselves out of the relegation zone in recent weeks. He is their leading goalscorer with four strikes and has also won numerous penalty kicks after bamboozling defenders across the league.

Would Man City be a good fit for Zaha?

He would certainly slot into their attacking lineup easily and is a similar player to the likes of Leroy Sane and Raheem Sterling out wide. Yet, is he the kind of player who flourishes as a big fish in a small pond? You can certainly make a case for many players moving to City in the past and then seeing their careers stall as they were squad players. Jack Rodwell and Wilfried Bony spring to our minds.

Zaha may be labeled that after he struggled mightily at Manchester United when he joined them from Crystal Palace in 2013 for $22 million. Expectations were high but Zaha didn’t make a single PL start for United before being loaned out to Cardiff and Palace, as he eventually rejoined his former club permanently for $10 million in 2015.

There’s no doubting that Zaha is one of the most talented attacking players outside of the top six clubs in the PL, but is he worthy of a second chance at one of the big boys?

His form so far this season suggests he is but he also appears to be at home and comfortable at Palace in a team which plays to his strengths and allows him to flourish on the break.

You can understand why Man City, Chelsea and Arsenal are all interested in signing Zaha but it may be in his best interests to remain at Palace at least until the end of this season.

Crystal Palace 2-2 Bournemouth: Defoe scores beauty brace

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  • Defoe opens, closes first half scoring
  • Milivojevic, Dann score
  • Key saves from Begovic, Speroni

Christian Benteke missed a stoppage time penalty kick and Bournemouth held on for a point at Selhurst Park in a 2-2 draw at Crystal Palace on Saturday.

Jermain Defoe‘s brace included a gorgeous finish, making amends for Luka Milivojevic and Scott Dann goals.

Palace remains 20th with 11 points, while Bournemouth is 14th with 16.

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A clever short corner caught Palace looking poor, with Defoe sprung all alone — by an illegal pick — near the penalty spot to bury a side-footed offering.

Palace was immediately ready to level, but a timely intervention stopped Mamadou Sakho at the goal line following fine work from Ruben Loftus-Cheek.

The Eagles leveled when Wilfried Zaha was chopped down in the box, and Milivojevic had no problem with his penalty attempt.

Dann used a Yohan Cabaye cross to make it 2-1, but only briefly as Defoe scored this wonder goal (top).

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Jordon Ibe snapped the game back into life in the 70th minute when he forced Julian Speroni into a diving parry.

And it was a hard foul that brought a different kind of vigor to the match, with Lewis Cook‘s sliding challenge on Zaha leading both players into yellow cards.

Asmir Begovic made a great reaction stop when Loftus-Cheek’s deflected effort teased the near post. An ensuing corner was toe-poked wide of the goal by Milivojevic.

Charlie Daniels then cut down Zaha, but Benteke remained ice cold with a poor penalty attempt which was saved by Begovic.

VIDEO: Wilfried Zaha returns home to the Ivory Coast

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Crystal Palace TV have put together a wonderful documentary as they went along with Wilfried Zaha who returned to his homeland in the Ivory Coast for the first time in 20 years.

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Zaha, 25, was born in the Ivory Coast but moved to the UK at the age of four and made his name at Crystal Palace before a big money move to Manchester United and then playing for the English national team in a friendly.

Zaha then made the decision to play for Les Elephants and is a hero in his homeland.

This season his return from injury has made a massive difference to Crystal Palace as Roy Hodgson’s side have put themselves within touching distance of climbing out of the bottom three, with Zaha’s trickery, late goals and driving runs a huge part of their recent success.

Wilfried Zaha: Coming Home, was filmed as the Ivory Coast had a key 2018 World Cup qualifier against Morocco which they then lost and thus failed to make the World Cup in Russia next summer.

Click play on the video above to get behind-the-scene access on Zaha’s journey back to his homeland.

Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 Crystal Palace: Son leads ailing Spurs

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  • Gazzaniga the star deputy
  • Son scores winner
  • Zaha misses golden chance
  • Kane wobbled, Dele out

Heung-Min Son‘s second half goal was enough to push injury-hit Tottenham Hotspur past Crystal Palace 1-0 at Wembley Stadium early Sunday.

Spurs were without Hugo Lloris, Dele Alli, and Toby Alderweireld for the match but got a star turn from backup keeper Paulo Gazzaniga to aid the effort.

Tottenham remains third, level on points with second place Manchester United, while Palace remains in 20th with four points.

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Palace could’ve been ahead inside of three minutes, but Mamadou Sakho instinctively took some mustard off his header attempt against a charging Paulo Gazzaniga.

Dele Alli, Hugo Lloris, and Kieran Trippier were all missing with injury, so Harry Kane‘s limping off in the 23rd minute was a scare. Fortunately, he returned to the pitch moments later in a bid to work it out.

Serge Aurier swept a 31st minute cross over the Palace defense to a free Danny Rose, who missed badly.

Gazzaniga made a nice save on Scott Dann‘s strong header off a 36th minute corner.

Heung-min Son and Harry Winks had opportunities before halftime, but failed to deliver a goal.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Andros Townsend forced Gazzaniga into a quality save after an Aurier giveaway just after the break.

And the best chance, cued up again by Aurier, was for Zaha, who dribbled around Gazzaniga but dragged a jumping shot wide of the yawning cage.

Moments later, Gazzaniga palmed away a back post header from Luka Milivojevic.

Spurs took advantage of the let-off, with Son scoring a lovely goal after Danny Rose’s effort was blocked by Palace. Son often slips under the radar, but is a special talent.

Son then missed a break in the 82nd minute, fooling Julian Speroni but hitting his shot off the outside of the net.

Glowing Zaha reacts to star turn, Palace win over Chelsea

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Right about now, Frank De Boer is saying, “But I planned on having that guy.”

Wilfried Zaha returned from injury and was easily the Man of the Match as Crystal Palace scored its first goals and managed its first win of the season on Saturday.

[ RECAP: Palace 2-1 Chelsea ]

That the win was over reigning champions Chelsea was even better, and Zaha figures this is where Palace’s season will really begin its table climb.

From the BBC:

“Me and Andros Townsend aren’t strikers so we run all over the gaff, but the boss told us that if one had the ball the other needs to get himself into the box.

“It’s a dream, managing to beat Chelsea at home. Deffo this is the start of a fightback – now we’ve got more confidence we can start to climb up the table.”

Good direction from manager Roy Hodgson who will be thrilled to see the twin goose eggs leave their places next to Palace’s name on the table.