Before I start this article I'd just like to say a few things; I'm a massive fan of Zaha and will always be grateful of what he's done for Palace. By signing a long-term deal at Palace it ensured we would get good money for him which would ensure a long-term future for the club. Wherever he ends up, I will always be grateful for the money and goals he's brought to Crystal Palace and I hope he goes on to be the best player he can be.
Wilfried Zaha has been in the media spotlight a huge amount recently, ever since the England first team call-up and also after his recent transfer to Manchester United. Due to this, it's common human nature for people to slag someone off when they know little about him. I've seen countless fans saying he's 'just a Championship player' and 'not even worth £5m, let alone £15m'. I'm here, a Crystal Palace fan who's seen him play hours and hours of football, to set the record straight. Zaha is a very good footballer and a very promising youngster and that £15m could be a bargain.
'Wilfried Zaha is a Championship player for a reason' is something I've heard a lot recently and it's a very aggravating comment. Yes he is a Championship player and there is a reason for this, but it's not because he's not good enough for the Premier League nor scared of England's highest tier of football. Zaha has been progressing very well as an all-round player at Crystal Palace, so there's been no reason for him to move to the Premier League. What's the point in moving to the Premier League prematurely? He's better off improving as a player and coming to the Premier League when he's ready and good-enough. That's mainly the reason for Manchester United loaning him back to Palace. Why move to the Premier League and sit on the bench, getting very little game-time, when he can play every week in the Championship? The Championship has been the best place for him as a player, that's why he's playing there.
Is Zaha worth £15m? That's a very hard question to answer for a number of reasons. When you compare it to a transfer like Michu, who is a real bargain at £2m, then he's not worth anything near £15m. But when you compare it to a transfer, and I hate to use this example, Torres to Chelsea for £50m, he probably is worth it. On current ability, I don't think he's worth that amount. But on his potential and how good he may become in the future, I think he is worth the money. The fact that he's aged just 20 and playing for England shows he could potentially have a good 10 years ahead of him.
'Zaha's price is inflated due to him being English and being skilful . This statement is probably true as English players notoriously go for more money when it comes to transfers. Skilful players also are worth more as skill is a lot harder to come by than pace or height. Think about it, there's a lot less skilful players in the Prem than their is big and strong players. Skilful players have a rare quality which makes them mesmerising to watch at times, just like Zaha can be when he gets going. On a good day a skilful winger can look like the best player in the world, however I've seen Zaha in the past where it's just not quite worked and it's so frustrating. Yes because of his nationality and playing-style he is worth more, but I'm not complaining in the slightest. It's the first time Palace have really got a 'good amount' for a youngster, so I'll take everything I can get.
To conclude, I think Zaha will go on to be a very good player at Premier League level. Yes the step-up to the top may be difficult, but when he played against Man United and Stoke in the League Cup he looked at ease with a 'better' standard of players. With the right guidance and help, which is why I think Manchester United is the perfect move for him, he can go on to become a world-class player.