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By Daniel Smith, London24 Crystal Palace blogger
Friday, January 25, 2013
Possibly the longest transfer saga this season has now come to an end with Wilfried Zaha’s deal to Manchester United announced today. It is always disappointing to see a talented player leave, but there are many positives to take from this departure that can benefit the club in the long term.
Name: Daniel Smith
Twitter handle: @dmsmith1987
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Favourite player: Glenn Murray
Most memorable game: Brighton 1 Palace 3 (2011-12)
Predicted finish: Mid-table
A number of supporters have referenced previous quotes from the CPFC2010 consortium stating that Zaha would not be sold for less than £20million. The board have posted a comment in an online forum that essentially states that the only figures that have been quoted have come from mainstream media sources, and not from the two actual clubs involved in the deal. With all add-ons and sell-on clauses it actually states that more than £20 million is due to be earned by Palace.
Of course this will be on condition of the number of clauses in the contract and, at the end of the day, all sources have to be analysed, so who is to say what sort of figure the Eagles will be looking at. Obviously it is the highest amount received by a player in the club’s history and so they now have finances which had not been budgeted for with which to go out in the last week of the transfer window and spend.
"The well-thought out part of this deal means that the club are in no rush to replace Zaha because he is coming straight back on loan for the rest of the season"
But, the well-thought out part of this deal means that the club are in no rush to replace Zaha because he is coming straight back on loan for the rest of the season. So the money can be invested wisely elsewhere, in other positions but also away from the pitch and into the infrastructure of the club.
The possibility of redeveloping Selhurst Park has been touted as an option. Palace must also look at the fact that the player responsible for this revenue came from an academy that missed out on being graded as Category One when it applied, so perhaps the money could go in part to nurturing more talent in improved surroundings.
In all of this as well it must be considered that there is a player who has put up with constant speculation about his future for at least a year now, when reported attempts were made by Bolton to tempt him away from Selhurst Park.
Zaha has expressed his desire to play at the top and once his head was in that place it was always going to be difficult to keep him. Part of the joy of football is watching players mature and progress, so it would not have been right for Palace to stop this.
What’s done is done. Some supporters will agree while others will disagree with the decision to sell. Either way, one chapter of Palace’s academy is coming to a close, but the impact from this could be extremely beneficial for the long term of the club, and that is where the energy and attention must be focused.