Why Newcastle United should go all out for Wilfried Zaha
The Magpies are a subject of a £300m takeover bid by a Saudi Arabia-backed consortium. And should that go through without any hiccups, the club have ambitious plans to strengthen their squad, with Zaha emerging as one of the priority targets. (h/t The Sun)
The 27-year-old Zaha came through the youth ranks at Crystal Palace. Having impressed in his first couple of seasons with the senior team, the winger sealed a high-profile move to Manchester United.
However, the Ivorian struggled for game time at the club and returned to Palace in 2014, after a loan spell at Cardiff City. Till date he has racked up 353 appearances for the Eagles, bagging 56 goals and 70 assists in the process.
Newcastle United, meanwhile, have endured another middling campaign under new manager Steve Bruce. The Tynesiders are currently 13th in the Premier League table, having collected 35 points from 29 matches so far.
Newcastle’s struggles in attack
Goals have been a major concern for the Magpies this season. They have found the back of the net just 25 times. That is the joint-lowest tally in the league, along with Norwich City.
The centre-forwards – Joelinton, Andy Carroll, Dwight Gayle and Yoshinori Muto, have struggled to make any sort of meaningful impact so far this season. On the flanks, Allan Saint-Maximin and Miguel Almiron have shown glimpses of spark, but have managed two goals each.
Christian Atsu is another winger at the manager’s disposal, but hasn’t scored a single goal. Whereas Scottish wideman Matt Ritchie has mostly been used as full-back in the ongoing campaign, hampering his effectiveness in the final third. The fact that central midfielder Jonjo Shelvey is the club’s top scorer this season is an indicator of how poor the attacking unit has been.
Hence, it is imperative that Newcastle strengthen their attack in the summer. And Zaha represents a viable option for the club. The 27-year-old Ivory Coast international is widely regarded as one of the most dangerous wingers in the Premier League. Indeed, the Palace star has completed the second-most take-ons (136) in the league this season.
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Having scored 10 goals and assisted 10 more in the 2018/19 campaign, the former Manchester United ace produced a decent return of 3 goals and 5 assists in 2019/20. Needless to say, the Ivorian would be an upgrade on the current options at Newcastle United.
Zaha, since returning to Palace from Manchester United, has gone from strength to strength with each passing season. Given Newcastle’s attacking woes this season, signing the 27-year-old would add some much-needed quality to the side. It would also equip them with a bigger goal-threat from the wide areas.