Former Wigan Athletic coach Jewell advises Crystal Palace on Zaha dependence

Former Wigan Athletic coach Jewell advises Crystal Palace on Zaha dependence

The Ivory Coast talisman was the highest scoring player in Roy Hodgson’s team last season with 11 goals to his name

Former Wigan Athletic and Derby County manager Paul Jewell has advised Crystal Palace to stop relying on Wilfried Zaha if they want to go to the next level.

Zaha has established himself as a key player for the Eagles since he returned from his disappointing short stint at Manchester United in 2014.

Last season, 28-year-old enjoyed his best scoring form in the Premier League and he also ended it as Crystal Palace’s top scorer with 11 league goals.

During the campaign, Zaha struggled with injuries on several occasions which left Roy Hodgson’s team short of opportunities in the frontline.

With the summer transfer window opened, Jewell urged the Selhurst Park outfit to reinforce their attacking options if they aim to surpass their 14th-place finish in the Premier League last season.

“If they want to go to the next level, they’ve got to get better players – get better players or more attacking players,” Jewell told Football Fancast.

“Obviously quite highly reliant on Zaha and I think that has to change if Crystal Palace are going to look for that next step.”

Nigerian descent Eberechi Eze was another player who contributed to Crystal Palace’s attack last season with four goals in his maiden Premier League campaign but he remains a doubt for the opening games of the 2021-22 campaign due to ruptured Achilles.

Zaha’s future at Crystal Palace is in question with reports claiming that the forward has demanded an exit from the club.

Meanwhile, the club chairman Steve Parish said that Zaha’s suitors must meet their conditions before a deal can be sanctioned.

“We understand his position. It’s no secret that he would like to challenge himself,” Parish said.

“If those two things collide then we will have to look at it. But right now, we are two days into the transfer window so it’s a bit early to talk about it.”

Zaha started his playing at Crystal Palace and his first stint in the South London club started in 2010 after he played for their youth teams for six years.

After three years at Selhurst Park, the 28-year-old moved to Manchester United where he endured a tough period with just two appearances in two years. 

He has revived his career in South London again and his dazzling performances made him a reported transfer target for Arsenal, Everton and Tottenham Hotspur in the previous transfer periods.

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