Zaha joins Galatasaray after leaving Palace


Galatasaray's new transfer Wilfried Zaha arrives in Istanbul, Turkiye on July 23, 2023. 

Wilfried Zaha has joined Galatasaray following the expiration of his Crystal Palace contract.

Zaha, 30, has signed a three-year deal and will be paid a signing on fee of 2.35m euros (£2m) and an annual salary of 4.35m euros (£3.75m), the Turkish club said.

Zaha started out at Palace aged just 12, spending most of his career there.

The forward made 458 appearances for the Eagles, the third-most in the club’s history, and scored 90 goals.

He scored seven times last season, and wore the captain’s armband on multiple occasions before a hamstring injury ruled him out of the last two matches of the campaign.

Zaha issued a messageto Palace fans a day before his move was announced.

“I want to thank [Palace chairman] Steve Parish, all of my teammates, coaches and the entire Palace fanbase for always believing in me and encouraging me to get to where I am today,” he wrote.

“I have been blessed to play in front of you and call you family from the day you accepted me.

“From the bottom of my heart, I’m forever grateful.”

Zaha made his senior debut in 2010 at the age of 17 and quickly became a first-team regular for the Eagles, after helping them gain promotion to the Premier League in 2013.

The winger was purchased by Manchester United for £10m but made only two appearances for the Red Devils before returning to Palace on loan one year later.

It took just six months for the Eagles to make Zaha’s move permanent in January 2015.

On 30 October 2021, the attacker became the first Palace player to score 50 top-flight goals for the club when he found the net in a 2-0 win over Manchester City.

Over the years, Zaha has been linked with moves away from Selhurst Park, with Palace rejecting offers from Arsenal and Everton in 2019.

He was reportedly offered a new £200,000-a-week contract with Palace – the highest in the club’s history – prior to the end of the 2022-23 season, but his existing deal expired on 30 June.

The Ivory Coast international had been linked with a move to the Saudi Pro League, where former Premier League players including N’Golo Kante, Ruben Neves and Edouard Mendy now ply their trade.

Palace will once again be managed by Roy Hodgson for the upcoming season, with the 75-year-old having agreed a one-year deal after he replaced former boss Patrick Vieira in March.

The Eagles have signed midfielder Jefferson Lerma on a free transfer from Bournemouth this summer, while goalkeeper Jack Butland and midfielders Luka Milovojevic and James McArthur joined Zaha in leaving upon the end of their deals with the club.

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