One of the hottest names this season when it comes to young players chased by big clubs is Wilfried Zaha of Crystal Palace, at the moment looking closest to Manchester United.
Arsenal have also been quite interested in the 20 year old forward who can play as both winger and a striker, recently notching his England debut in a friendly, hoping that’ll be enough to convince him to remain with the English setup instead of playing for the Ivory Coast, the country of his birth.
While Manchester United weren’t the first to join the chase after the player, they seem to be the last team standing. Why? It looks like most of the clubs after Zaha are convinced Alex Ferguson has already secured the player by talking to Zaha himself and convincing him to sign with Manchester United in the future and by reaching an understanding with the club’s manager and chairmen.
Zaha is one of those hybrid forwards you don’t exactly know where to place on the pitch, just like Theo Walcott and others of similar style, but he seems to be more effective (and used more as well) when playing as a winger, this season scoring five goals and adding four assists in 25 league matches, helping Crystal Palace to reach third in the Championship at the moment, the same position they finished in last year before missing out on Premier League qualification through the playoffs.
Last season, Zaha did have a run at the striker position under manager Dougie Freedman, scoring a career best 6 league goals in 41 appearances. This season he’s been switching positions from the wing to the middle, sometimes within matches. He’s not as small as some of the other more notable wingers in England (Wlacott, Lennon), standing at 5’11 (1.80). Since joining the senior team at Palace in 2009, Zaha has played a total of 121 matches, scoring 15 goals.
In any case, even if Zaha is signed this transfer window by United, he will probably be loaned back to Crystal Palace for the remainder of the season and who knows, maybe even another year of development. It’s rumored it would take at least £10 million to convince Palace to sell him.