In the summer Wilfred Zaha was heavily linked with a move away from Selhurst Park, with interest from clubs like Arsenal, Manchester United, Everton Chelsea. However, with Zaha having an £80 million price tag on his head, Arsenal chose to go in for Pepe instead.
His price is so overvalued it was almost £20 million cheaper for Barcelona to sign Champions League-proven Frenkie De Jong. For an extra £10 million, you could have purchased a Premier League winner and PFA Player of the Year, Eden Hazard.
It is obvious that Zaha is Palace’s key player, however, any top club would be mad to pay £80 million for him. Zaha made a name for himself at a young age when his performances in the Championship caught the eye of Sir Alex Ferguson, who made him his last Manchester United signing for £15 million.
Zaha spent three full seasons at Manchester United who were struggling to be the side they once were. However, despite this, Zaha could only earn himself a handful of appearances and eventually went out on loan to Cardiff City, where he was part of a side that finished bottom of the league.
Despite Zaha being known for his dribbling abilities, he is the second most dispossessed player in Premier League history getting dispossessed 641 times in 200 premier league matches. That averages 3.2 times a game, which is very high if you were to compare it to the £25 million rated Deulofeu who averages 1.43 times a game. This stat would only increase if he was to get a move to a top-four club, as Zaha can beat a defender and run into space, but if he was against a team who were parking the bus, this space Zaha would run into wouldn’t exist.
Zaha very much occupies the wing, where, if you were to compare him to the younger and £20 million cheaper-Christian Pulisic, you can see Pulisic can play on both wings and use both feet. Zaha is also heavily reliant on cutting inside on to his right foot. And it’s the same for his shooting, for every 3.8 goals he scores with his right foot he scores one with his left. A ratio that is worse than Felipe Anderson, who would also cost less.
Zaha averages 0.17 goals per match on average, which is poor for a player valued at his price. Especially when compared to players such as Salmon Kalou, who has 0.23 per game. These stats do make you think what certain players - like Yakubu who averaged 0.37 goals per game, Emile Heskey who averaged 0.21, and Peter Crouch who maintained 0.24 goals per game - would sell for in the modern transfer market. Perhaps Manchester United would be bidding £90 million for Yakubu.
Zaha also lacks the killer instinct and isn’t clinical enough in front of goal. On average he misses 0.14 big chances per game, which almost matches his number of goals per game. Again, this is similar to Kalou, who missed 0.13 on average. And who in their right mind would pay £80 million for Kalou?
His shooting accuracy is 36%, which is once again beaten by cheaper alternatives such as Deulofeu, who has an accuracy of 46%, and Anderson who has a 42% accuracy. It is even beaten by Carlton Cole who has 37% accuracy.
Zaha doesn’t do well creatively either, he manages just 0.12 assists per match on average which is beaten by Anderson and Deulofeu and also matched by Jack Grealish; three cheaper alternatives.
Therefore, if you have £80 million to spend, it may better to look abroad.
This article was written exclusively for golear.co.uk