He wants to come to Arsenal and Arsenal apparently want him enough to make an initial bid of £40m for Crystal Palace winger, Wilfred Zaha, but do Arsenal really need him ?
Well, there’s mixed reactions from Arsenal supporters but on the whole, the majority seem to be in favour of the move.
There’s no doubt that Zaha is very much in the Arsenal mould of power, speed and strength. He would make an interesting addition for Lacazette and Aubameyang, who were frequently starved of decent service last term and he could even become an additional striker.
He has the tools and with the right guidance, he could convert easily, but a bid of £40m suggests that Arsenal don’t need or want him enough.
I wouldn’t go with Palace’s evaluation of £80 million plus, but would say that the going price is probably closer to £50/55m.
When you think that 21-year-old Aaron Wan-Bissaka went to United for a staggering £45m plus £5m in add ins, Zaha (26), although proven in the premiership, would need to be realistically cheaper for me.
Arsene Wenger refused to buy English players in the past because they came with inflated price tags and when he did dabble with homegrown players, he had mixed success.
Who can forget Francis Jeffers, the Fox in the box, the ever emerging Theo Walcott or opinionated Jermaine Pennant, none of which are good adverts for English players.
This transfer is so complicated for so many reasons, that it may not even merit a second bid. The club are looking for a buyer and it’s rather unattractive that two of its key assets could possibly be gone in the same transfer window.
Zaha, by the way, is under contract for another four years, which will be structured into the price tag, but at least the player wants to play for Arsenal.
So, providing no other London club’s come in for the winger, Arsenal have some leverage but should Spurs or West Ham want to turn up the heat by making a phone call to Palace, it may end Arsenal’s interest.
You can understand Palace looking for the best price, but rumours of £80/£100m are excessive. A 34-year-old Ronaldo cost Juventus €100m but for that, you have a phenomenal and consistent talent, that still delivers on the big stage.
Zaha failed at United because he never really got the chance, but he still failed and in the current Palace side, he’s bound to stand out from the crowd.
In the big scheme of things, what would Zaha’s arrival mean for the like of Reiss Nelson and Bukayo Saka ? Some fans fear that it could signal the end of the youngsters Emirates career and that would be a body blow for Arsenal’s much heralded Academy.
We will have to wait and see but if Zaha is Arsenal’s top target, it seems at odds with their current needs. They shipped 51 goals last season, more than Manchester City and Liverpool combined and they were only 18 behind Cardiff who were relegated.
Even Newcastle conceded less and they had a very up and down season under the superb Rafa Benitez. This all suggests that with only City and Liverpool scoring more goals, Arsenal’s frailties lay in defence not in attack. How many times has that been said over the last ten years.
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