One of the more head-scratching things to come out of the last few days of the transfer window was Tottenham’s pursuit of Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha. Tottenham reportedly had a £12m bid for Zaha rejected, and Palace’s chairman came out and said that there was “no chance” that he was leaving for Spurs.
Today, Palace manager Alan Pardew went into more detail, suggesting that the only way Zaha would’ve left Palace for Spurs is if “Spurs blew us out of the water.”
"This club took him back from Man United when things weren't going so well and put their money where their mouth is to bring him back. He's done great for me but I think there's improvement in him. I do think he's got some improvements to make to be a top player.
OK, that seems reasonable. Pardew did rescue Wilf from purgatory in Manchester, and he seems to really believe in Zaha’s abilities and potential. I get that. Makes sense.
"If Spurs blew us out of the water or Man City offered £50m and it was Champions League football, OK, it's because you're the finished product. This is what Wilf's ambition should be, but he needs to address his goals and assists.
"If a club came in with, say, £50-£60m - let's say a Man City, Barcelona or Real Madrid, and he's got ten goals and nine assists - as his manager at Crystal Palace I can't really stand in his way.
"I don't think our fans would either. He knows he isn't there yet and he has no problem seeing that. I have told him that. Potentially, he could be."
£50-60m?! Holy smokes! There’s overpaying for a talented young player... and then there’s bidding £50m for Wilfried Zaha. If that’s what it would take to pry Zaha away from Palace at the moment, then I’m exceedingly glad that Spurs didn’t continue to test their resolve.
I’m not throwing shade at Zaha, who I think is a pretty good young player now and has the potential to turn into a really good player. Upon further reflection I don’t even hate the idea of spending a goodly sum of money in this market on Zaha or a player like him.
But £50m is a lot of cheddar, and as of yet I haven’t seen enough potential in Zaha to make me think he’s going to be worth that much money in the transfer market any time soon. Pardew, to be fair, doesn’t seem to think he’s worth that much either. I’m sure Wilf is itching to prove both of us wrong, which is probably Pardew’s plan all along.