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‘Hot’ Palace talisman talks himself up and ‘deserves’ big club move

Wilfried Zaha feels he ‘deserves’ the chance to play for a big club and will jump at the opportunity to move on from Crystal Palace this summer.

The 28-year-old has spent he majority of his career with the Eagles. Having come up through the club’s youth ranks, he made his senior debut in March 2010. The flying winger was soon a first-team regular and it did not take long before the big boys started taking notice.

Manchester United came calling in January 2013 but loaned Zaha back to Palace for the remainder of that campaign. He returned to Old Trafford in summer 2013 but, after just four appearances, was loaned to Cardiff City in January 2014.

And that was it as regards his Red Devils career, with the Ivory Coast international returning to Selhurst Park in August 2014. An initial loan spell became permanent in January 2015 and he has remained in south London ever since.

In total, the former England youth star has made 392 appearances for Palace, scoring 68 goals and assisting many more. He has been close to leaving on a few occasions.

And it has become as annual guessing game as to whether he will remain at the club in between seasons.

It appeared as though he might be off to Arsenal last summer but a deal failed to materialise. And Paris Saint-Germain boss Mauricio Pochettino seemed keen to take him to the Parc des Princes in January.

But the capital outfit have always managed to hold onto their talisman. That may now all change as the African has made it clear he wants to play for one of the big clubs.

“I feel like I can have another shot at the top teams, because my dream is to win things,” he told The Face. “I’m good enough to go out there and compete with the best.

“If the opportunity came, I wouldn’t turn it down, because I feel like I deserve it. It’s so I can show my kids: ​’This is what daddy won’.”

Race on for Zaha signature

Zaha has enjoyed another stellar season with Roy Hodgson’s side, scoring a career-high 11 top-flight goals in 2020-2021. On top form he is a constant threat to the opposition, with an ability to glide past defenders at will.

It remains to be seen who enters the race for his services. German giants Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund are said to be keen while the Gunners may reignite their interest.

Whichever club ends up buying the forward will be getting a man supremely confident in his own ability.

“I’m 28, but my career’s still hot,” he added. “People thought I was done: going to Man United and that not working out, me going to Cardiff.

“But I’ve gone back to Palace, restarted my career, and I’ve stayed relevant and hot throughout this time.

“My name is still in people’s mouths. You can say what you want but I’m still here and I’m still hot.”

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