The Daily Mail recently reported that Zaha has ‘reiterated his desire to leave’ Crystal Palace and that the club are ‘willing to listen to offers’.
Speaking on the latest HLTCO podcast, Cook insisted that Zaha only has himself to blame if he fails to secure a move away from Selhurst Park this summer, as he signed a five-year contract with Palace three years ago:
“He’s signed a five-year contract without a release clause, under his own steam. No one forced him to do it, no one held a gun to his head, he signed it. He’s on a large amount of money, I believe £120,000 a week. He plays for a football club that he grew up around the corner from, he’s adored by all the supporters. This isn’t, you know, hell on earth.
“I understand his frustration. Of course, he wants to get away. But at 28, I’m just not sure there’s ever going to be a club that are willing to pay him the amount of money we do, and a football club that is going to offer the sort of transfer fee necessary for us to replace him in the market.
“At the end of the day, we aren’t a charity, and we have to make sure that we have a squad capable of retaining our Premier League status.”
TIF Thoughts on Zaha’s saga…
Cook makes a credible point, as Zaha is now 28 years old, it could be hard to find someone who would be happy to meet Palace’s valuation.
After re-joining from his boyhood club after an unsuccessful spell at Old Trafford, Zaha has been a fantastic servant at Selhurst Park – notching 68 goals and 72 assists in 393 games for the Eagles. It would be harsh to blame Zaha for wanting to try a new challenge after carrying out great service with Palace, but whether anyone is able to afford him is another dilemma.
Zaha could be forced to see out the remainder of his £130k-per-week contract before leaving on free in 2023.