Now the dust has mostly settled following the the summer transfer saga involving Wilfried Zaha, despite already being loosely linked with a move to Chelsea in the January transfer window, it would be a suitable time to look back at how the Palace talisman has started the 2019/20 season.
The big questions to arise after it was confirmed that Wilf would be staying at Palace were about his commitment to the team and how he would respond after reportedly being frustrated with the club’s hierarchy after bids from Arsenal and Everton were rejected throughout the window.
It’s fair to say that Zaha hasn’t hit the ground running this season. It is very very early in a long campaign but we would have wanted to see more so far from the Ivory Coast international so far.
Zaha hasn’t statistically started the season as well compared to the past two seasons. At this stage last season Wilf had already bagged three goals for Palace and had played every minute of every match. It was clear he was keen to come flying out the traps and his passionate performances reflected this.
The dazzling performance away at Huddersfield, including a solo goal which was worthy of securing three points against the Terriers, and the butchering Watford gave him added a willingness to his attitude last season. Wilf started so positively and would go on to score 30% of all of Palace’s goals last season.
Similarly, Zaha started the 2017/18 season incredibly well. Despite being ruled out of six of the first seven fixtures with a knee injury, Wilf returned in spectacular fashion.
The team had no points, had scored no goals and were desperately adrift at the bottom of the table September 2017. Yet Zaha returned in spectacular fashion and secured two absolutely vital goals for Palace on his return, the winner against Chelsea and the late equaliser against West Ham leaving, him with two goals from his first four matches.
We are definitely yet to see the best of Wilfried Zaha this season. He admitted he was nervous prior to the Everton game as he worried about what reception he would receive from the home crowd. This showed to some extent in the match as he never got up to full speed. The same could be said for the Sheffield United game, he barely got on the ball and really struggled to get at the Blades back three on any occasion.
He has improved against Manchester United and Aston Villa more recently. Seeing more of the ball and the odd glimpse of his trickery and ability to draw fouls and put pressure on the opposition has been more apparent in these games.
But we know he has more in him even though he is yet to find the net or make an assist this season.
Zaha is set to feature in the upcoming fixture against Tottenham this weekend. even though he missed Ivory Coast’s international fixtures against Tunisia and Benin over the last week due to personal reasons. However, fans will be expectant of a big performance from the talisman as he looks to find some consistent form moving forward.