Crystal Palace

Ultimate Zaha replacement? – Here’s why this 11-goal hitman would be a fantastic fit for Crystal Palace

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Why Joe Lolley would be a fantastic fit for Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace chairman Steve Parish has insisted that star forward Wilfried Zaha will leave the club next transfer window, provided he can find a replacement.

Wilfried Zaha, 26, came through the ranks at Crystal Palace, making his debut in 2010. He joined Manchester United in 2013 but struggled to break into the first team at Old Trafford and returned to Selhurst Park, initially on loan, before rejoining on a permanent deal in 2015.

The Ivory Coast international has been the club’s most crucial player in the last few seasons, helping the Eagles to a comfortable mid-table finish in the last two campaigns.

His dazzling displays caught the attention of Arsenal and Everton in the summer, but Palace rejected bids from their Premier League rivals in the transfer window as they valued Zaha at around £80m.

It’s important Roy Hodgson and co. find a replacement for Zaha, who signed a contract extension last summer which ties him to Palace until the summer of 2023. Palace are undoubtedly set to demand a lot of money for their star forward as they are in a very strong position at the moment.

As far as Zaha’s replacement is concerned, Nottingham Forest’s Joe Lolley, who was heavily linked with the south Londoners back in December 2018, could be a good fit at Selhurst Park.

Joe Lolley, 27, enjoyed a solid last campaign in the Championship, scoring 11 goals and supplying as many assists in 46 games. 

Although Nottingham Forest failed to achieve promotion, the winger’s displays were enough to suggest he is too good to play Championship football. Hence, why renewing their interest in him would be the right step for Palace.

Palace have been heavily reliant on Zaha and Townsend to create and score goals in the last two campaigns.

If Zaha leaves in the next transfer window, Townsend will need the likes of Christian Benteke, Jordan Ayew and Jeffrey Schlupp to step up. But knowing the three aren’t the most prolific of goalscorers, Lolley could turn out to be a smart addition for Hodgson’s side.

Lolley usually operates from the right flank to cut in on his preferred left foot and scored some stunning long-range strikes for Forest last season. His pace, dribbling skills, eye for goals, inclination in the attacking third and innate playmaking attributes make him one of the most feared attackers in the Championship.

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That being said, Lolley can easily plug the holes and play for Hodgson’s Palace, as he already looks like a tailor-made option for them.

Verdict

Despite failing to make a mark previously with Huddersfield Town in the Premier League, Lolley deserves another shot in the top-flight and he could make it big for the Eagles.

Rohan Sengupta

Hi, I am Rohan Sengupta from one of the busiest cities in India, Mumbai. A Journalism graduate with a keen interest in sports, football is something I simply cannot live without and writing, discussing and analyzing the game is what I do 24*7. Follow me @garrydevildada

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