Newcastle United

Newcastle: PIF must avoid signing Wilfried Zaha

Image for Newcastle: PIF must avoid signing Wilfried Zaha

Newcastle risk putting PIF’s transfer strategy at risk if they follow through on reported interest in Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha.

What’s the latest on Newcastle’s interest in Wilfried Zaha?

Palace captain Zaha is out of contract at the end of the season and has been continually linked with a move away from Selhurst Park.

Earlier this month the Daily Star reported that Newcastle and West Ham are currently the frontrunners to secure Zaha’s signature this summer.

From their side, the Daily Mail have reported that Palace have offered the £130k-per-week man the most lucrative contract in the club’s history in an attempt to persuade him to remain in South London for the final years of his career.

The 30-year-old joined the Eagles as a 12-year-old in 2004 and has made over 450 appearances for the club across two spells.

Why must PIF resist the temptation to sign Zaha?

Crystal Palace's Wilfried Zaha reacts after a missed chance

Since arriving at Newcastle, PIF have resisted the temptation to splash out big money on superstar names and have instead opted to primarily target young players with the potential to grow with the project.

Their transfer strategy has been described by George Caulkin and Chris Waugh in The Athletic as luring the best up-and-coming talent, who are 24 or under and can grow with the club.

Whilst Zaha is undoubtedly a player of high quality who is extremely dangerous when running at opponents, at aged 30 he is past his prime and his potential to grow and develop is very limited.

He also has a tendency to blow hot and cold, putting in a virtuoso performance one week and then being a liability the next.

He was labelled “poor” by former Premier League defender Stephen Warnock (via HITC) in the 4-1 defeat to Arsenal – a game in which he was dispossessed six times and had five unsuccessful touches.

This is also illustrated by former manager Patrick Viera calling for Zaha “to be more consistent” after a spate of high and low performances last season.

As Newcastle enter the next stage of their project under PIF they require hungry, committed players who will give everything for the club.

Zaha has no European experience, an inability to remain consistent, a patchy injury history and questions over his attitude.

He is not the right man for the project and does not fit the transfer strategy that has been working so well.

On his day he is a great player, but the Magpies hierarchy must avoid signing him now.

Share this article