Premier League preview: Palace's hope rides on unhappy Zaha

Crystal Palace owners thwarted bids for forward Wilfried Zaha from both Arsenal and Everton during the transfer window.

Premier League preview: Palace's hope rides on unhappy Zaha

After 11th and 12th place finishes in his two seasons in charge at Crystal Palace, the next order of business for manager Roy Hodgson will be to lead his side into the top half of the Premier League table. The challenging aspect of it would be to do with a wantaway player in Wilfried Zaha, who happens to be the club’s best player.

Zaha was keen to push a move through to Arsenal but the move fell through because of Palace’s high asking price. Everton, too, was put off by the London club’s hard line despite the winger putting in a transfer request during the week to force a move.

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While Hodgson is happy to have Zaha for another season, he admitted that the Ivory Coast international is currently not in the best frame of mind after a fallout with the club’s owners.

“Everyone here has a good relationship with him. There’s not a problem with that. His beef is with the chairman and owners of the club because he’s wanted to leave and they haven’t received the offer that they think is sufficient to allow him to leave. He has to come to terms with that, when you sign long-term contracts you are expected to honour them and we expect him to do that,” Hodgson told Sky Sports.

It remains to be seen if Zaha, who has clocked zero pre-season minutes, will line up against Everton at home in the opening weekend.

Zaha signed a contract extension with Palace last year which will keep him at the club till 2022-23 season.   -  GETTY IMAGES

 

The most significant incoming transfer done over the summer was former Chelsea center back Gary Cahill, who comes in with plenty of League and European-winning pedigree. However, the £50 million received for Aaron Wan-Bissaka hasn’t been re-invested to further strengthen the squad.

Midfielder James McCarthy completed a permanent move from Everton on deadline day but the 28-year-old’s career has hit a block after a broken leg suffered in January last year.

Striker Jordan Ayew and Christian Benteke returned poor outputs last season and the goal-scoring responsibility fell on Luka Milivojevic and Zaha. If Benteke could recover his Palace first season form, he could help push the club for a finish high up the table.

Crystal Palace's transfer activity

IN: Stephen Henderson (free, Nottingham Forest), Jordan Ayew (£2.5m, Swansea), Gary Cahill (free, Chelsea), James McCarthy (undisclosed, Everton)
OUT: Aaron Wan-Bissaka (£45m, Manchester United), Joseph Hungbo (free, Watford), Bakary Sako (free, Denizlispor), Alexander Sorloth (loan, Trabzonspor), Jaroslaw Jach (loan, Sheriff Tiraspol), Pape Souaré (free, Troyes), Julián Speroni, Jason Puncheon (free, Pafos), Tyler Brown, Oliver O’Dwyer (all released)

 

Premier League fixtures

August

10 - Crystal Palace v Everton

17 - Sheffield United v Crystal Palace

24 - Manchester United v Crystal Palace

31 - Crystal Palace v Aston Villa

September

14 - Tottenham v Crystal Palace

21 - Crystal Palace v Wolves

28 - Crystal Palace v Norwich City

October

5 - West Ham v Crystal Palace

20 - Crystal Palace v Manchester City

26 - Arsenal v Crystal Palace

November

2 - Crystal Palace v Leicester City

9 - Chelsea v Crystal Palace

23 - Crystal Palace v Liverpool

30 - Burnley v Crystal Palace

December

4 - Crystal Palace v Bournemouth

7 - Watford v Crystal Palace

14 - Crystal Palace v Brighton

21 - Newcastle v Crystal Palace

26 - Crystal Palace v West Ham

28 - Southampton v Crystal Palace

January

1 - Norwich City v Crystal Palace

11 - Crystal Palace v Arsenal

18 - Manchester City v Crystal Palace

22 - Crystal Palace v Southampton

February

1 - Crystal Palace v Sheffield United

8 - Everton v Crystal Palace

22 - Crystal Palace v Newcastle United

29 - Brighton v Crystal Palace

March

7 - Crystal Palace v Watford

14 - Bournemouth v Crystal Palace

21 - Liverpool v Crystal Palace

April

4 - Crystal Palace v Burnley

11 - Leicester City v Crystal Palace

18 - Crystal Palace v Chelsea

25 - Aston Villa v Crystal Palace

May

2 - Crystal Palace v Manchester United

9 - Wolves v Crystal Palace

17 - Crystal Palace v Tottenham