Manchester United? Chelsea? Where next for Wilfried Zaha
Wilfried Zaha is the talk of the town and for good reason, he has lit up the Championship this season and propelled Crystal Palace to the top of the table.
The 20-year-old has scored four goals and managed three assists so far this season. These statistics, though, don't do justice to the brilliant performances this mercurial youngster has put in for his team in the Championship.
Players, pundits and managers alike have been singing Zaha's praises, tipping him to go on and became one of football's greats at both club and international level. But what I want to look at, is where Zaha should go next, there is no question that he will leave Crystal Palace and it will more than likely be sooner rather than later but with a whole host of clubs, including some of Europe’s finest, clambering to sign the pacey winger, Zaha will have to choose his next destination carefully in order to progress his career.
Destination number 1: Manchester United
It is thought that the Red Devils are favourites to sign Zaha, and the player is also keen on going to Old Trafford. Sir Alex Ferguson has sent scouts to watch the winger on a number of occasions and would love to see the player lining up with the likes of Rooney and van Persie. If a move to Manchester was to happen Zaha would be following in the footsteps of many great wide men, including Cristiano Ronaldo and David Beckham and he would surely flourish under the management of Ferguson.
Destination number 2: Arsenal
Arsenal have confirmed their interest in Zaha after manager Arsene Wenger said the club are looking at all available options to strengthen the squad. Zaha would fit the mould of an Arsenal player, with Wenger so accustomed to bringing out the best in young talented players, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Jack Wilshere being two examples. But with the Gunner's struggling to mount a serious title challenge in recent seasons will it be somewhere Zaha can go and make a real name for himself?
Destination number 3: Chelsea
Zaha wouldn't have to move far if he were to join three time Premier League winners Chelsea and would be joining up with some of the most exciting young talent around, with the likes of Eden Hazard, Oscar and Juan Mata. But Chelsea's style of play may be something that will put Zaha off joining the Blues. Although Chelsea play very attacking and stylish football, they tend to use an attacking trio behind their central striker, who will drift in and out off the wings and swap positions frequently across the pitch, where-as Zaha is more of an all out winger, using pace and skill to take on opponents. Another factor that will come in to consideration is the fact that Chelsea have had nine managers in eight years. As a young player Zaha will be looking for stability and support from his manager, and if they're being sacked every other week then that isn't going to be good for his development.
Destination number 4: Manchester City
Manchester City are looking to snap up as much young talent as they can, looking to the future and not just the present by buying ready made world beaters. There is no doubt that City will be able to offer Zaha vasts amount of money, but one thing they will not be able to guarantee is playing time. The case of Adam Johnson highlights this fact perfectly. He was brought into the club as a young and exciting winger with bags of skill and pace, much like Zaha. But Johnson was never a first team regular and eventually left after his career had stalled, this is something Zaha will not want to happen to him.
Destination number 5: Real Madrid
Real Madrid join an ever growing list of clubs coveting the Ivory Coast born winger but they could be the dark horse in the race for his signature. The opportunity to work with one of the best managers in the world and some of the very best players in the world would get almost any player thinking about a move away from England. But Zaha should be wary of the fact very few English players have made an impact in Spain, many of them returning fairly soon after their ill fated spells in Europe, Michael Owen being one example.
Wherever Wilfried Zaha moves to, if indeed he does move, he will surely be a success. It has been some time since a youngster has attracted this much attention from so many top clubs and that itself is a sign that Zaha has bags of ability and potential.
What club do you think Zaha should move to, to take his career to the next level?
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