Sunday Sep 01, 2019. 08:00
The chairman of Premier League side Crystal Palace, Steve Parish, has expressed his hope that star player Wilfried Zaha moves to a top club in the future.
The Ivorian international was expected to leave Selhurst Park before the start of the 2019/20 season and even submitted a transfer request, but the Eagles were unwilling to part with a player who remains vital to their hopes of survival in the English top flight.
“We’ve all been young, but the situation was not right for anybody this summer,” Parish told the Daily Mail. “You think at the time it is, but I wouldn’t put a cap on this kid’s talent.
“I’ve watched him every week for 10 years, he scored the first goal in the first game after we bought the club when he was 16. So there’s even a bit of me that wants to see what he can do at a top club, and I certainly wouldn’t want to be the person who stopped that.
“I feel he deserves to get there, I hope it happens and sometimes it mystifies me he’s not up there already. I don’t know what he’s got to do — run the length of the pitch and beat four players? If people stood in my shoes having to replace him, trying to find someone in world football to do what he does, they would know.
“We’re lucky to have him. But if that top club comes along and the money’s right, he’s an extraordinary talent and it’s going to be very difficult for us.
“I’m sure it has a happy ending for everybody. That’s what I want to generate and I’m sure we’ll make that happen.
“I’m here to do a job and my relationship with Wilfried has always recognised that. I’ve never asked him for a favour, he’s never asked me for one. It’s a professional relationship. It was just at that moment we weren’t aligned, but I’ll try to find a solution from here.
“Aaron Wan-Bissaka went to Manchester United, so if top clubs come in for our players with the right money, then it’s a timing issue. We have to make a plan for the evolution of our squad.
“Wilfried won’t be here forever, and we must be ready for him to go, if he does go. The last day of the transfer window, however, is not going to be it.”