Multiple outlets, including our own, have now discussed the idea of Wilfried Zaha joining Tottenham Hotspur. This is one of those rumors that simply will not die as Zaha has been linked with Spurs annually since joining Crystal Palace in 2014/15. However, if you dig into Zaha’s performance on the field and the needs of Tottenham Hotspur, it just is not a fit. Here are three reasons Tottenham Hotspur should continue to pass on Wilfried Zaha.
Wilfried Zaha no longer fits Tottenham Transfer Profile
If nothing else comes from the Matt Doherty signing last summer it might be Tottenham are not really in the finished product market. Signing Doherty at 28 meant a number of ingrained habits and tendencies that simply did not fit at Tottenham. With Wilfried, Zaha Tottenham is getting into the same situation.
Zaha, who will turn 29 during the 2021/22 season has been at Palace for seven years now and no matter the manager, his performances are always about the same. To think that suddenly he would come into the unstable environment of Tottenham at 29 and find success may be far-fetched.
Now five years ago, when Zaha was 23 and coming off a 17 goal and 11 assist campaign back in 2016/17 the links make sense. He was young and productive. However over the last several seasons that production has disappeared and some of it is easy to explain.
Zaha is not a very good shooter
Wilfried Zaha is a very willing shooter averaging more than 2 shots per contest according to fbref.com. However, what Zaha does not do is hit the target very much.
This season Zaha has managed to take 59 shots but only 19 of those 49 shots were on target, a 32.2% rate. For comparison, Son Heung-Min took 88 shots this season for Tottenham and put 45 of them on target or 51.1%. It is the highest percentage of Son’s career but he has consistently improved at Tottenham going from a low of 37.9% on target to this season.
Alternatively, Zaha has never shot balls on target at a rate higher than 37.3% in his career and has been consistently inconsistent in hitting the target. The inability to get more shots on the frame is a concerning characteristic, particularly if he is thought to be replacing Harry Kane, who has averaged 42.1% of his shots on target at Tottenham.
Zaha has a bit of an attitude
There was a time back before VAR where a bit of a naughty streak was a good thing for a player. Think Dele Alli winding people up with his after-the-play shenanigans. Zaha also brings an attitude but it is a bit different as it is often one of complaining over calls.
That complaining can then can be compounded with stupid fouls. Stop me if this sounds familiar but the onfield antics and behavior of Zaha is something this club needs less of us. As a result of mostly his attitude, Zaha has picked up 20 yellow cards in the last three Premier League seasons along. Those 20 yellows are only 5 less than his goals -25- and are actually 3 more than his assists 17.
The bottom line is Zaha is not the player Tottenham needs at this point in his career or the club’s progression. Five years ago maybe but that ship should be well out of port at this point as bringing Zaha to the club just does not make sense.