Crystal Palace defender Aaron Wan-Bissaka has been urged not to repeat the career path of club teammate Wilfried Zaha by former coach John Salako.
The right-back has developed into one of the most promising defenders in European football after his impressive first full season with the Eagles.
Should Wan-Bissaka stay at Palace? Five things you need to know…
- Aaron Wan-Bissaka came through the Crystal Palace academy to make his debut against Tottenham Hotspur last season.
- Since then, the defender has been their first-choice right-back and has amassed 40 appearances in all competitions.
- It is highly likely the England U21 star will win the club’s ‘Player of the Season’ award this month.
- The 21-year-old’s form has attracted the attention of rival clubs but the defender is under contract until 2022.
- Salako has warned Wan-Bissaka not to rush his way to the top of the footballing ladder.
Former Crystal Palace winger Salako – who spent a period of time at the club as a coach under former manager Alan Pardew – believes that the young defender shouldn’t jump ship to a bigger club simply because the offer is there.
Using Zaha’s move to Manchester United as an example of how a young player’s career can be stalled, Salako suggested that the Palace man should follow in the footsteps of fellow right-back Nathaniel Clyne, who clocked up well over 100 appearances for the Eagles before moving to Southampton and then Liverpool.
Salako told talkSPORT: “I can remember talking to Nathaniel. He was level-headed.
“You know, you say to your youngsters, play your 90, 100 games, learn your job, learn your trade. And then he [Clyne] went to Southampton, he moved to Liverpool, he’s played for England. Unfortunately he’s had injuries.
“But Aaron [Wan-Bissaka] hasn’t played. He’s come on leaps and bounds and if he moves he’s going to be under massive pressure.
“Do you remember when Wilfried went to United? He was too young, too early, didn’t settle in.
“He’s got that massive pressure week in, week out and he has to step up another level or two.”
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“He’s worth £40 million”
Speaking about the valuation of Wan-Bissaka and Zaha, Salako believes the former is already worth a vast sum of money, considering his talent, importance to the Selhurst Park club and the fact he has four years remaining on his contract.
“I would say probably £40 million [for Wan-Bissaka],” Salako said.
“I mean Luke Shaw came in at United for £30 million, so £35 million to £40 million for a fledgeling, young lad who has only had one season, that would be big money.”
Salako believes Zaha is worth more than that, suggesting the club would be looking for a figure north of £50 million.
He added: “For Wilfried [Zaha], probably more like £50 million to £60 million.”