According to reports, Wilfried Zaha is on Liverpool’s shortlist – which must be quite extensive if every report is to be believed.
Signing Manchester United players is typically taboo. Even if it’s an ex-player. In recent memory, not very many players have played for Liverpool and then United or vice versa. Michael Owen did and most supporters hate him and yet he’s Liverpool’s official international ambassador – but that’s another article for another day entirely.
Wilfried Zaha. Blessed with terrifying pace and unforgiving amounts of natural talent which has arguably gone to waste so far. When the winger was at Manchester United, he saw more of the bench than Old Trafford’s finely manicured turf. As a result of his lack of game time he returned to Crystal Palace, a team not terrific in attack but one which was thought to allow the youngster to blossom.
The London club has, to an extent, allowed Zaha to spread his wings and take on more of the spotlight which has aided his development in that he no longer needs to dwindle in the shadows of the multi-million superstars that arrive every year at Old Trafford.
Although Football Whispers, a website devoted to collating all the latest transfer rumours, have claimed that Liverpool are interested in signing Palace’s pacy winger but it will not be a straightforward engagement. Tottenham are long-term admirers and were turned away in the summer when Mauricio Pochettino tabled a £20 million bid.
Jurgen Klopp is looking for a new winger, not just to provide cover for Sadio Mane who is leaving next month for the AFCON, but also to ensure there is a second option as far as natural wingers and genuine pace are concerned at the club. While Sheyi Ojo is certainly a talented player, at 19 years of age, he’s one for the future.
I can imagine that Klopp would be excited by the chance to maximise the boundless potential that Zaha has, especially as it would provide the opportunity to show up the Manchester United lot.
There has been something of a negative reaction to the news that Zaha might join Liverpool but I can’t understand it. The lad has genuine speed and a real physical presence to him that, as Liverpool players themselves can testify to, is nerve-wracking and will be potent in Klopp’s gegenpressing system.
While it really is a case of if not when, I can’t see any reason to veto this transfer other than some iffy rumours about attitude issues that Zaha has but that was the same with Sadio Mane and it turns out he’s the most humble man you’ll ever meet.
It’s still early doors but I hope that there is some truth to this report.