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Why Crystal Palace cannot afford to sell Wilfried Zaha to Tottenham Hotspur

Tuesday 30th August 2016
Crystal Palace chairman Steve Parish has hit out at Tottenham's interest in winger Wilfried Zaha this summer, insisting that the Lilywhites' opening offer was more an insult than to be taken seriously, and reassured the supporters that the England international will not be leaving Selhurst Park in the summer transfer window – a wise move considering the potential ramifications should he depart again.
We had a bid from Spurs but £12m - it's ridiculous. I can't imagine that they're serious/ There's no chance whatsoever of Wilfried Zaha leaving the club in this transfer window. I can absolutely reassure every Palace fan he is an integral part of our plans. We need to convince Wilfried that Palace is the right place for him and that he can succeed here,” said Parish.

I haven't spoken to the player. It's not right really that players get their heads turned. I was told that the manager there thinks he's the next Ronaldo. Well I'd like to get the next Ronaldo for £12m. The manager and the player might have had a conversation but I'm chairman of the football club. I decide who leaves and he's not leaving. He'll have to get his head around that,” he added.
Palace has already parted company with winger Yannick Bolasie for around £30M to Everton, striker Dwight Gayle to Newcastle United for £10M and Mile Jedinak to Aston Villa for £4M this summer, leaving them short in key areas. They don't have many goals in the side based on performances from last season, and the creativity of Zaha is key as a result with the winger being Palace's Player of the Season in 2015/16.

Crystal Palace's existing personnel have struggled in front of goal with last season's top scorer netting just five for their troubles. Wingers Bakary Sako and Jason Puncheon scored just two goals each, putting a lot of pressure on new-boy Andros Townsend to hit the ground running with his new club. Wilfried Zaha isn't the most prolific either, but he does create a lot of chances for his teammates which will be key for their summer-signing Christian Benteke – a target man who thrives on balls into the box.

Without Zaha, Palace will be looking to Yohan Cabaye for creativity, while calling on the goal-shy wingers of Puncheon and Sako to hit top form in the final third to ease the burden off Benteke's shoulders. Bolasie and Zaha whipped in 256 crosses between them in the Premier League last season, but the Eagles needed an intimidating centre-forward to convert in the box. Benteke can be that man, but if Palace let Zaha go, their front three will take time to gel, while being weakened considerably from their 2015/16 options.
Spurs are not likely to give up on the talented winger, however, so Crystal Palace are going to have to be firm in their desire to keep Zaha at Selhurst Park. It perhaps doesn't bode well that the winger has been described by Parish as distracted by the transfer rumours, which suggests buying club and player are keen to make the deal happen, but the selling club have no intention to let another top player leave.

With Crystal Place having already lost a number of good players from the team this summer, while enduring a run of form that has seen them pick up just two wins in their last 23 Premier League games, the Eagles cannot afford to lose last season's Player of the Year. With Palace currently struggling in the division, aha might be keen to leave for Spurs, but letting him leave might see their league status as risk.

With another offer expected from Spurs will he be convinced to stay at Selhurst Park?
Crippy Cooke

Crippy is a long-suffering Aston Villa supporter and weekly football accumulator enthusiast.

Stealing a living, the balding 27-year-old boasts a wealth of writing experience - Telegraph, Independent, Huffington Post, Zoo Magazine, Daily Mail, ITV Football, MSN Sport, Yahoo Sport, London 24 and Bleacher Report.


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