Eagle Eyed View: Zaha fever is deserved but Palace would suffer if he left

12:55 13 November 2012

Wilfried Zaha (left) takes on Serbia

Wilfried Zaha (left) takes on Serbia's Filip Mladenovic during an England Under-21 match. Photo credit: Stephen Pond/EMPICS

EMPICS Sport

Even by this season’s standards, Wilfried Zaha will love all the attention lavished on him today after his first senior England call-up.

About our blogger

Name: Luke Jacobs

Twitter handle: @lukemjacobs

Regular attendee

Favourite player: Geoff Thomas/Current: Julian Speroni

Most memorable game: Crystal Palace 1-0 West Ham, play-off final

Predicted finish: 12th

There have been double page spreads in all the tabloids and interviews with the nationals, while Daniel Sturridge’s tribute to his talents was among the most read stories on London 24 yesterday afternoon.

And he deserves all the plaudits and profiles too (how did some of the national newspaper journalists find searching for non-Manchester City/Arsenal/Liverpool content to fill this morning’s back pages?).

The call-up to the squad face Sweden is a testament to his own hard work, tutelage by the Crystal Palace academy coaches, club management and his stunning form. Only a cynic would say it is purely a spoiler to prevent him linking up with the Ivory Coast. The fact that it is a friendly would appear to rule that out anyway.

He is close to fulfilling the undoubted promise he showed when he burst onto the scene at Selhurst Park only two seasons ago. He has genuinely come on leaps and bounds since making his debut under Paul Hart and subsequently cementing his place in the first team under Dougie Freedman.

"Would they [Palace] continue to flourish even if shorn of their brightest talent midway through the season? The answer is no."

Luke Jacobs on talk of Wilfried Zaha leaving the Eagles

But would Palace fans be forgiven for thinking a bit more selfishly?

The team is still on a roll and the threat of an England call-up becoming a distraction for club and player might seem alarmist but it is a legitimate one.

To be honest, the club has survived managerial upheaval this early in a season in a way that it did not when Steve Bruce upped sticks at the same stage 11 years ago.

But would they continue to flourish even if shorn of their brightest talent midway through the season? The answer is no.

Some of the newspapers are already seeing the call up as his gateway to Arsenal or Real Madrid in January.

All the signs from the coaches and staff at the club point to his feet being firmly fixed to the ground.

He is at the top of his game, but is also surfing the crest of a Crystal Palace wave that is drowning all in front of it at the moment – and he knows it.

Despite signing a five-and-a-half year contract last season, few would begrudge Zaha a move to one of Europe’s top club in the summer for a hefty fee if Palace do not maintain their momentum and get promoted this season.

But the England call-up will be seen by observers as a sure sign that Zaha may soon be just too good for us.

Related articles

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
1
2 3 4 5 6
7

Latest Crystal Palace news

Crystal Palace's Joe Ledley in action (Credit: David Klein/Sportimage via PA Images)

Wales manager Chris Coleman says Joe Ledley faces ‘a big week’ as they assess his fitness aheas of Euro 2016.

Manchester United's Marouane Fellaini (left) and Crystal Palace's Scott Dann battle for the ball in the air (Mike Egerton)

Crystal Palace defender Scott Dann believes Manchester United deserved to win the FA Cup.

Yannick Bolasie of Crystal Palace celebrates (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

Yannick Bolasie hopes to give his mother a “special” birthday present by inspiring Crystal Palace to win the FA Cup.

Arsenal's Theo Walcott gestures to the fans (Adam Davy/PA Wire)

Our season review continues with a look at the five players who went backwards this season.

Tottenham's Erik Lamela (left) and Arsenal's Hector Bellerin battle for the ball during the 2-2 draw at White Hart Lane in March

We continue our season review with a look at the five most improved players in London in 2015/16.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

Competitions

Win a BMW 1 series

There are fewer cars currently on the market more stylish and exciting than the BMW. Known all over the world as one of the best car manufacturers, the BMW is renowned for sleek designs and fantastic high quality workmanship.

Read more
Kindle 7 inch tablet

Are you looking for a brand new gadget to help you stay connected on the go and make that long journey home a bit more entertaining? Look no further. MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Kindle Fire 7” Display Tablets! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Read more

Latest Tech News

Transport