Two Purposes, One Man? – Wilfried Zaha Could Be A Replacement For Sanchez And Also An Upgrade On Walcott
Wilfred Zaha is being linked with a move to join Arsenal from Crystal Palace as Arsene Wenger continues scanning the market to find a replacement for the outbound Alexis Sanchez. The Chilean continues to evade all talks of signing a new contract with the Gunners. He was rumoured to join Manchester City over the summer but the deal did not go through. With the winter window coming up, reports are once again suggesting that he could join Pep Guardiola’s squad in January.
If that happens, Wenger will need an able replacement quite soon, and Wilfred Zaha is believed to have caught the manager’s attention. Palace may not be so eager to let him go though. Zaha made a quick return from his injury as he netted 2 goals in 5 games for the Eagles. With new manager Roy Hodgson in charge of things now, Zaha will most certainly be a vital asset. However, the club could look to strengthen their overall squad with the proceeds from Zaha’s potential sale to the Gunners.
Sanchez’s exit will cause problems for Arsenal, and a player like Zaha can hope to fill the void. Moreover, if the deal happens, Zaha could also be an upgrade on Theo Walcott as well. Wenger has made his preference for Alex Iwobi well-known, which has further stunted Walcott’s chances.
However, one cannot only blame the lack of chances behind the player’s poor form. His injuries have truly pushed him further down the pecking order, and with the World Cup coming up next year, Walcott might have a better chance at getting selected only if he moves out the Emirates stadium – thus, opening up better scope and chances for Zaha.
He can play either on the wing or up front and that versatility will be useful for a manager like Wenger. Moreover, Zaha is 25-years-old while Walcott is 28, making it all the more necessary for the latter to seek an exit from Arsenal.
Of course, this would bring Wenger’s dream of fielding a British core closer to a slow death, but given the situation, neither Arsenal nor Walcott can afford to hold on to each other. The Gunners are in desperate need of a resurgence as the pressure to deliver results simply increases for Wenger on a daily basis. Walcott, on the other hand, needs to play more if he is to play in the World Cup next year since he would have to wait for another 4 years otherwise.
Thus, signing Zaha is likely to help Wenger fill Sanchez’s void, while also providing more support than Walcott – especially in terms of squad rotation.