Sheer class: Palace star has “too much respect” to harm the club after summer saga – opinion

This article is part of Football FanCast’s Pundit View series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent quotes from journalists, pundits, players and managers…

Crystal Palace star Wilfried Zaha has spoken to BBC Africa about his failed attempt to leave the club back in the summer.

The Ivory Coast international was the subject of interest from Arsenal and Everton, and was said to be ‘devastated’ after no such move materialised – Zaha had even handed in a transfer request.

Since then, the former Manchester United man has appeared in all eight of the Eagles’ Premier League games – Zaha hasn’t found the back of the net, but has registered one assist.

What did he say?

Speaking to BBC Africa after picking up an award for ‘Philanthropic Endeavour’, Zaha said: “I had to put my head down and play my football.

“I would have been hindering my own progress by moaning and not wanting to perform properly.

“I have too much respect for my manager, the fans and my team-mates to treat them that way. It was a thing where ‘OK, this hasn’t happened but I’ve got to get on with it’.

“I had to nail down and just get on with it because the team deserved that.”

Oozes maturity and understanding

Any Palace fan who was annoyed with the forward’s antics in the summer simply cannot maintain that ill-feeling after reading Zaha’s comments.

It is evident that he respects Crystal Palace and those at the club, a place where he has risen from an academy graduate into arguably one of the greatest players to have ever pulled on the shirt.

Should Palace let Zaha leave in January?

Yes

Yes

No

No

Zaha is spot on. If he had downed tools and moaned, his chances of getting a move away would’ve become even slimmer, so it is in his best interests to knuckle down and get on with things.

The 26-year-old wants to better himself and perform in the Champions League – that much is evident in this interview with the player.

That isn’t a problem.

Causing a stir amongst the squad because he didn’t get his wish would be a problem, and while Zaha may have been entitled to throw a tantrum given the fact that it appears he was misled by Steve Parish and the board, the attacker has handled things with great maturity and understanding.

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