Everton legend Neville Southall rues the Blues not signing in-demand Crystal Palace forward Wilfried Zaha, after the Toffees’ advances were turned down.
The club announced earlier in the week that they had brought an end to their pursuit of the Eagles attacker, after seeing an opening £55million offer rejected and reports surface of an improved bid.
It was alleged that Everton chiefs returned to the Selhurst Park natives offering Cenk Tosun and James McCarthy on top of the £55million previously offered. But the Blues board took the surprise decision to publically denounce the offer, and stated that our advances ended the moment Palace rejected our straight cash proposal.
Attentions evidently swiftly turned to facilitating Moise Kean’s arrival from Juventus for a reported £30million, with the Italian potentially putting pen to paper on his Toffees contract this weekend once his medical is complete.
Southall, though, has told Voucher Codes, via quotes by the Express, that he would have liked Zaha to be moving to Goodison Park this summer, and feels Merseyside would have been a much more beneficial project for him than life in South London.
“I don’t think he’ll go to Everton, full stop, but it would have been a good a signing for us,” Southall said.
“I think coming from Crystal Palace, Everton would be a step up and I do think if you look at what we have coming in the future, Everton would have been a better long-term prospect, but I don’t think the transfer is going to happen.”
By signing Zaha, potentially over Kean, Director of Football Marcel Brands would have acquired a proven Premier League talent who struck ten goals in the top-flight last season, and was credited with ten assists.
Roy Hodgson proved the Ivory Coast international’s versatility in 2018/19 as well, with the 26-year-old deployed across the Eagle’s front line. But a move to sign the natural winger would likely have required an offer of £80million, with Palace reluctant to negotiate their asking price given the attacker is contracted until 2023.
Zaha may now remain at Selhurst Park for the new Premier League season, as Arsenal have signed LOSC Lille forward Nicolas Pepe for £72million. Napoli, meanwhile, are rumoured to be readying an approach, although the figure is only expected to reach £60million, as they are hopeful Palace will reduce their valuation for an overseas outfit.