Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson has said that Wilfried Zaha should be prepared to withstand the backlash of the fans after handing in a transfer request during the closing stages of the summer transfer window. The Ivorian was heavily fancied to join Everton before Thursday’s transfer deadline but the Eagles decided against selling the attacker irrespective of the price on the table.
Speaking to reporters, Hodgson said that the supporters are right to voice their views on the recent transfer saga and Zaha will have to deal with the negative reactions amid the disappointment of missing out on a move away from the club, he said: “You can’t control fans’ reactions. Fans will react in the way they feel they should react. Of course I hope that they won’t get on Wilf’s back. I hope they’ll be sympathetic to him and will help him produce more good performances for the team. But whatever happens, Wilf will have to deal with that, just as he has had to deal with his disappointment over the last few days in the transfer window.”
Zaha was initially touted to make the move to Arsenal last month and the Gunners saw a £40m offer turned down by the Eagles. Thereafter, it was revealed that the south London outfit wanted at least £80m for the Ivorian and this meant that the Gunners switched their attention to compatriot Nicolas Pepe from Lille, who was recruited for a club-record £72m fee.
From then, Zaha was able to attract fresh interest from Everton but they could not seal the deal before the transfer deadline despite offering two players in addition to £70m. One of those in James McCarthy eventually joined the Eagles in a separate deal worth £8m. Somewhat coincidentally, Crystal Palace are scheduled to host Everton in the opening game of the Premier League campaign.