Wilfried Zaha reveals playing in the Champions League was a big factor behind joining Galatasaray and says he sought advice from Didier Drogba ahead of the move
- Wilfried Zaha is relishing chance to play in Champions League with Galatasaray
- Zaha elected to join the Turkish side despite strong interest from other clubs
- Didier Drogba is amongst the players that Zaha asked about the move
Wilfried Zaha has revealed that the opportunity to test himself in the Champions League was a major factor behind his decision to join Galatasaray.
Zaha has spent the majority of his career at Crystal Palace, taking in various spells at the club, but he is now ready for a fresh challenge after joining Galatasaray as a free agent and signing a three-year contract.
The 30-year-old had attracted interest from Saudi Arabian clubs as well as Paris Saint-Germain, Napoli, Lazio and Fenerbahce.
However, he elected to sign for Galatasaray and is looking forward to the season ahead.
Zaha told Beanyman Sports: ‘Obviously this will be my first opportunity to be part of the Champions League, so my mindset is to come here and do my best, try and help the club win titles and get as far as possible.’
Wilfried Zaha says he is relishing the chance to play in the Champions League with Galatasaray
Zaha asked former Galatasaray striker Didier Drogba for advice ahead of making the move
Zaha revealed that he asked Chelsea legend Didier Drogba, who played for Galatasaray between 2013 and 2014, for advice ahead of the move and he also spoke to former Palace player Patrick Van Aanholt, who is currently on loan at PSV from Galatasaray.
He said: ‘I’ve asked a few friends, I asked Patrick Van Aanholt who came here, I asked Drogba and he told me it was amazing. I just can’t wait to step in here and see it for myself.’
Zaha received a warm welcome from supporters upon his arrival in Turkey and has promised to give his best for the club.
He said: ‘It was amazing. I didn’t expect so many people to be there. It’s great to be welcomed to this big club the way I did yesterday.
‘My message is when I put on the shirt I always give 100 per cent and I look forward to winning hopefully the league this season with all the fans.’
Galatasaray are in the second qualifying round of the Champions League and will take on Lithuanian side Zalgiris as they look to edge closer to securing a spot in the competition proper.
Palace offered Zaha £200,000-a-week as they looked to persuade him to stay at the club, but he will now be plying his trade away from Selhurst Park.
In total Zaha played 458 times for Palace, while he scored 90 goals and provided 76 assists.
Having started his career at Palace, Zaha joined Manchester United in 2013 but the move didn’t work out as expected and he had loan spells at Palace and Cardiff before eventually returning to the south London club on a permanent basis.
Zaha has spent the majority of his career at Crystal Palace but is now set for a fresh challenge