There always seem to be links suggesting Zaha could be set to leave Crystal Palace in almost every transfer window, but now heading into the final 12 months of his contract and no signs of him penning a new one, it appears more realistic than ever that he could well depart.
Zaha is not yet in his 30s, so will likely believe he has one big move still left in his career to potentially win some silverware or play European football. However, from Palace’s point of view, they will need to be very careful and smart about who they’d get in to replace the winger.
Someone who is a south London boy and being linked with a move is Joe Aribo from Rangers, although Cook is not convinced he would be the man to replace Zaha.
Who would you rather have at Palace?
He said: “I’m not sure we would stretch to the £10m release clause that supposedly exists within Joe Aribo’s contract, which is why I think Southampton are being credited with the most serious interest in him.
“Maybe, of course, if Zaha is to leave the football club this summer, that is a move we would look to get done, but again, I’m not sure how well it would go down if we replaced Wilfried Zaha directly with Joe Aribo.”
TIF Thoughts on Aribo replacing Zaha…
While it would be another feel-good story to see a local player turn out for Palace, if it was at the expense of one of the best players to pull on a Palace shirt during the Premier League era, it may not be celebrated too wildly in SE25.
Zaha has really stepped up his game over the last two seasons, managing to record his best goalscoring returns in back-to-back campaigns with 11 and 14 in the league, whereas, in the SPFL, Aribo could only manage eight strikes, which may suggest he wouldn’t be able to sufficiently replace Zaha within the Palace squad.