It’s hard to imagine how the mood around Tottenham Hotspur could be much more buoyant right now. A new season in a stunning new stadium awaits, a number of key men have put pen to paper on new deals, and many of the club’s alumni are in Russia ensuring that football comes home. In short, they’re in a great place.
The fact remains, however, that Mauricio Pochettino’s men finished 23 points behind eventual Premier League champions Manchester City last season. It’s a huge gap and one that will be incredibly difficult to close. New signings will be required to help the cause, and they’re needed quickly.
A vast number of players have been linked with moves to North London this summer, but one name that simply never fails to go away is that of Wilfried Zaha. The Crystal Palace man has been a long-term target for Spurs and, having reportedly turned down a new £120,000-a-week pay deal with the Eagles, now could be the time for a deal to come to fruition.
If they were to get a deal over the line, Spurs would be signing a player that made more of an impact on his side than almost any other in the Premier League last season. He played in 29 of Palace’s 38 games, and the downturn in their fortunes without him was remarkable:
|CLUB Crystal Palace||AGE 25Y 7M|
|POS MID||HEIGHT 5FT 11IN|
Avg Goal for
Avg Goals against
Mins per goal for
Mins per goal against
Shots for per game
Points per game
Without Zaha in their side, Roy Hodgson’s charges lost every single game. His attacking threat was missed badly as average goals per game plummeted from 1.4 to 0.3, and the side’s fluency and focus simply disappeared altogether.
Zaha is more commonly known for his work at the top end of the pitch, but it’s also notable how much his defensive contributions were missed. Palace failed to keep a single clean sheet without Zaha in the side, and average goals against went up by 1.1 per game.
There can be no doubt that Zaha has found a home at Palace but, at the age of 25, now may be the time for him to move on. His vast potential could be realised under Pochettino, and Spurs would undoubtedly be a better side for his contribution.
At the right price, this could be a deal that benefits all parties, and it would be in everyone’s interests to get it tied up as soon as possible.
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