Wilfried Zaha

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Report: Tottenham prepare $70 million summer bid for Zaha


In a statement of intent, Tottenham is reportedly preparing to bring in one of the Premier League’s most electrifying wingers.

The Times in London reports that Spurs are set to offer Crystal Palace a $70 million transfer fee to sign Wilfried Zaha, bringing the Ivory Coast international back to a big six club for the first time since 2014. Zaha famously was the last signing of Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United, but by the time the now-25-year-old arrived, David Moyes was the manager and Zaha never found a place in the Man United first team.

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Since returning, Zaha has found his form and this season has four goals and an assist for Crystal Palace in 20 Premier League matches as the club is now treading water above the relegation zone. Last season, Zaha scored seven goals and dished out nine assists in 34 starts in the league.

Zaha’s potential signing likely means either a change in formation or the departure of either or both Son Heung-min and Erik Lamela, both who play on Zaha’s preferred left side regularly.

The report states that the signing could be a way to galvanize some of the supporters for next season in which the club will play in the re-built White Hart Lane.

Palace loses Zaha ahead of brutal run of fixtures

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There’s a bit of good news when it comes to Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha: The Ivorian attacker won’t miss the rest of the Premier League season with a knee injury suffered and played through in Sunday’s 1-1 draw with Newcastle United at Selhurst Park.

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Zaha, 25, could be out for a month with the injury, which the Palace web site says is similar to one that sidelined him for eight games earlier this season.

That may have been the biggest reason for Palace’s miserable early season, so some fans are understandably alarmed with any absence for their best player.

Here’s Roy Hodgson, from CPFC.co.uk:

“We don’t know how long he is out for, that is the bottom line and it’s amazing he was able to play so long in the game with the injury. The good news for us is that he is a very quick healer, he and the medical staff will work very hard to get him back on the field as soon as possible and we know he will definitely not play against Everton, that’s for sure, and it might even take a week or two more than that.

Palace has 27 points, three points clear of the drop zone. The Eagles face Everton, Spurs, Manchester United, and Chelsea over the next month, so points were always going to be at a premium.

So we supposed the injury coming in February, when Palace has so few matches remaining in the month, is the second bit of good news.

Crystal Palace 1-1 Newcastle United: Magpies swipe point

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  • Newcastle leads through Diame
  • Palace levels, then dominates
  • Palace with points in 13 of 15
  • Magpies host Man Utd next

Luka Milivojevic‘s second half penalty was all Crystal Palace could manage despite a dominant second half which saw them draw Newcastle United 1-1 on Sunday at Selhurst Park.

Mohamed Diame scored for Newcastle in the draw which has the Magpies in 16th, a point above the drop zone.

Palace is 14th, three points above 18th place Stoke City.

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Wilfried Zaha had an early chance provided by Luka Milivojevic, but Jamaal Lascelles and Newcastle backstop Karlo Darlow stopped the 2nd minute opportunity.

Jonjo Shelvey presided over a fifth minute free kick, dead center from 35 yards out, and a decent ball led to Wayne Hennessey collecting a Dwight Gayle shot.

Kenedy found Matt Ritchie in the 13th minute, but the Scot popped a tepid shot into Hennessey’s arms. The goalkeeper had to make a better save when DeAndre Yedlin‘s cross was sliced on goal by Ayoze Perez.

The Magpies went ahead through Diame after the 20 minute mark, and Palace will not enjoy the replays of Kenedy’s corner kick sailing through the 18 for the Senegalese midfielder to slot home.

Palace bungled a chance to level through Zaha, as he punched his shot off a player and out of play. It wasn’t quite Raheem Sterling’s Saturday miss at Burnley, but it was not good.

Hennessey then stopped Kenedy before making a quality flying stop on Perez.

Christian Benteke then couldn’t adapt when Darlow’s slapped save appeared near his lap in the goal mouth. It looked an awful sitter.

Cabaye cut a low shot to Darlow moments before the break.

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Palace had a great start to the second half, though a Newcastle counter attack, 2v1 with Kenedy and Perez, was frittered away by the hesitant Brazilian.

Ciaran Clark had a hold of Benteke’s shirt, and the linesman awarded a penalty to Palace in the 54th minute. Milivojevic’s attempt was mostly blocked by Darlow, but the ball hit the bar and bounded across the line.

The momentum was fully in Palace’s favor from that point forward, Benteke a constant threat.

Christian Atsu set Isaac Hayden up for a rare Newcastle second half attempt, but Hennessey stopped to collect the low drive.

Palace looked to have won it, but Newcastle’s defenders made consecutive goal mouth clearances from Clark to bail out Darlow.

Atsu curled a shot wide against the run of play near the end of stoppage time.

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.