Chelsea have been linked to making a move for Crystal Palace striker Wilfried Zaha for some time now and most major UK media outlets are reporting it, including this one from The Telegraph.
The most common reaction from Chelsea supporters appears to be negative regarding the possibility of Zaha joining them. Many are against the move and feel there are better options.
I will begin this by saying that I agree with that sentiment, there are better options, and I like any Chelsea fan, have preferred targets such as Jadon Sancho for example for the wing positions.
However, the purpose of this article is to play devils advocate a little and discuss the thinking behind a potential move for Zaha by the club themselves, and I have come up with the following reasons.
- He wants to leave and is more than a realistic buy in January, Palace want Batshuayi.
It isn’t always going to be easy to sign players in January. You have less time, and the demanded fees are usually higher. But with that said, Zaha is desperate to leave Palace and his agent has already been laying down the foundations for a January move away.
His price might not necessarily be the cheapest, but Chelsea could decide to offer Michy Batshuayi as part of any deal. He had a good loan spell there, isn’t getting first team football at Chelsea, and could decide to leave in January.
Lets be honest, Chelsea need reinforcements in January.
2. Chelsea would look at him AS WELL as another winger (Sancho).
He wouldn’t be signed instead of their main winger pursuit, he would be signed as well as. If it was instead of, then I wouldn’t even be trying to look for the positives and I’d shut it down right away.
However, because he can play anywhere across the front three, essentially he will be coming in to backup Tammy Abraham in the striker position, and provide competition for the winger spaces.
Chelsea look set to lose Olivier Giroud, Michy Batshuayi, Pedro, and Willian all by the summer at the latest, some could even be January. So Zaha comes in and replaces one of the strikers, and one of the wingers collectively.
So if you think about Chelsea moving forward, they would have Callum Hudson-Odoi, Christian Pulisic, Jadon Sancho (hypothetically) and Wilfried Zaha (hypothetically) as the wing options, and Tammy Abraham, Wilfried Zaha, plus perhaps one other as the striker options.
So it doesn’t block any other players development, neither does it stop Chelsea signing other world class talents.
3. Not every player we sign will be world class, they can’t all play regularly.
There is this odd trail of thought that Chelsea need to sign only world class players from now on. Whilst I agree they certainly need to add 3 or 4 quality players, someone like Zaha as competition and to fill the squad may not be as bad as some make out.
4. He has Premier League experience and has only been playing in a defensive system.
Having PL experience goes a LONG way in this league. But also, I think Zaha is being under rated be some. He is heavily relied on by Palace as their main attacking threat in a very defensive system.
It is only natural that you will get more out of his ability if he is alongside better players and playing in an attack minded system.
5. He actually does have some quality.
Zaha is one of those rare players who has the ability to change a game by himself. He has pace, is strong, can dribble, shoot, decent on the ball, and is direct.
Yes he might have shown inconsistency over time, but I genuinely feel that could be different around better players.
This isn’t me saying go all out and sign him no matter what. I’m saying that for the right price in January, with Batshuayi as a makeweight, he could certainly improve our attacking options and give Abraham a decent backup option.