Who could replace Wilfried Zaha at Crystal Palace?

It’s the end of an era at Selhurst Park this summer as Wilfried Zaha departs after a long and memorable spell at the club. The Ivory Coast international has been a key reason why Palace have established themselves as a solid Premier League outfit that has rarely flirted with danger in recent years.

Zaha, who has scored 32 league goals across the last 3 seasons alone, unquestionably leaves a huge void to fill following his move to Turkish giants Galatasaray. Invariably operating on the left flank, Palace would dearly love to identify a player capable of replicating Zaha’s ability to run with the ball and score goals from wide.

So far, the South London club have only brought in midfielder Jefferson Lerma on a free transfer from Bournemouth. While that may prove an astute piece of business, Palace fans may be getting slightly restless at the lack of transfer activity following the departure of their main talisman.

Time is running out if they want to get a replacement for Zaha before the season opener at newly promoted Sheffield United on August 12th.

Who will replace Zaha at Crystal Palace – Three options

Crysencio Summerville

Crysencio Summerville
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One contender is Leeds winger Crysencio Summerville. Only 21, it’d be a big ask for Summerville to come in and immediately fill Zaha’s boots but if Crystal Palace want to invest in the future and start a process of bringing in younger players, he could be a great addition.

The Dutchman is capable of operating on either flank and was largely used off the bench by Leeds last season. However in his 4 starts as a left winger, Summerville registered 3 goals and an assist and showed he does have the raw qualities to be a successful Premier League winger.

As is the case with many young wingers, he still needs to add more consistency to his game and that’s perhaps what is putting some clubs off paying his reported £20.5m release clause. Palace’s need for fresh wide and attacking options is greater than most though, particularly if Chelsea target Michael Olise also departs.

Ruben Vargas

Another wide player being linked with a move to Selhurst Park is Ruben Vargas. The Swiss international, who featured heavily at last year’s World Cup, is a versatile player whose best role is also as a left winger.

He only made 13 starts for Augsburg in the Bundesliga last term but still registered 3 goals and 4 assists. Vargas may not have enough to his game yet to make him an outright replacement for someone of Wilfried Zaha’s calibre but he’s only 24 and has time to develop and further improve.

In the event that Palace decide to bring in several wingers rather than one outright blockbuster signing, Vargas could certainly be an interesting and affordable option.

Demarai Gray

Demarai Gray
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Crystal Palace have largely been defined by their skillful, pacy wide players in recent years and one man who very much fits that mould is Demarai Gray.

An asking price in the region of £12m shouldn’t be a major deterrent with Everton seemingly happy to let the 27 year old leave this summer. Gray’s second season on Merseyside wasn’t as impressive as his first but he again started the majority of Premier League games for Sean Dyche’s team.

Gray is a player with the ability to score spectacular goals and at his best, he’s truly capable of lighting up matches. He’s a player that the always atmospheric Selhurst Park could warm to as the Birmingham-born winger heads into what should be the peak years of his career.