Andros Townsend has admitted that Crystal Palace are hoping to keep hold of Wilfried Zaha for as long as possible but would understand if the reported Tottenham Hotspur target finally seals a big-money move away from Selhurst Park next summer, speaking to talkSPORT.
No one could possibly doubt an Ivory Coast international’s commitment to the club where he made his name as a jinking, high-stepping teenager.
Zaha has established himself as one of the Premier League’s most influential attackers during his second spell at Crystal Palace but it is no secret that, despite his admiration for a historic London club, the 27-year-old dreams of one day proving himself at a much higher level.
Things could change in the summer, however, with both Jose Mourinho and Frank Lampard expected to be handed a considerable transfer war chest as they look to add considerable quality to their ranks.
And Townsend accepts that Zaha’s long-term future may well lie elsewhere – even if he is desperate for his fellow winger to stay.
“For myself, eventually he'll get his big move and nobody at Palace will begrudge him that big move because he deserves it," the one-time Tottenham youngster, who joined The Eagles for £13 million, told Jim White (26 February, 11.30am).
“But hopefully we’ve got his talent for longer than this season. He loves Palace, he is a Palace boy and has been at the club for so many years and made 350 appearances.
“Once the window had closed, he thought ‘right my focus is on Palace and I want to do as well as I can for Palace’. That’s the person that he is."
With just three goals and three assists to his name from 27 Premier League appearances, Zaha has fallen slightly short of the exceptional standards he set last season – but a one-time Manchester United youngster is still capable of winning a game all on his own when at his explosive best.
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