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Wilfried Zaha opens door to Arsenal move – should the Gunners sign him?

The Crystal Palace forward had been heavily linked to a move to Arsenal last year but the club weren’t interested in the valuation Arsenal had put forward.

Reports from the metro.co.uk have stated that Crystal Palace were looking for a bid of £75m but the bids that came from Arsenal were in the £40m range.

Zaha’s name has again popped up and this time again with Arsenal after the Ivory Coast forward admitted that it was ‘amazing’ to know Arsenal were interested in him. If the opportunity comes knocking he will be open to a move to the Emirates.

Former Arsenal Coach Unai Emery was quoted by The Guardian:  “I told them: ‘

This is the player I know and want.’ I met Zaha and he wanted to come. The club decided Pepe was one for the future. I said: ‘Yes, but we need to win now and this lad wins games.’”

Though at the moment the primary concern for Arsenal will be to secure a long term deal with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang whose contract expires next season.

This season hasn’t been great for Zaha, totalling 3 goals and 3 assists in 29 appearances this season and clubs should be able to acquire his services by paying Palace a lower price.

Wilfried Zaha for Crystal Palace

Should the Gunners sign Zaha?

There are reasons as to why Zaha should be signed by Arsenal and also reasons as to why he shouldn’t be required by the club.

Signing Zaha could hamper the growth of Reiss Nelson

On paper, Reiss Nelson is tipped to be a great player and has already made a breakthrough into the Arsenal squad and with Zaha, it is likely that Reiss Nelson would lose out on match time.

Had Pepe not been there and Zaha had come in last season things could have been different. The English youngster has also created more chances per 90 minutes in comparison to Zaha.

Extending contract Aubameyang more important at the moment than cashing in on Zaha

Arsenal will be keener on retaining their star player and captain Aubameyang than going in for Zaha. Aubameyang has been in top form for the Gunners and had won the golden boot last season.

Why should Arsenal sign Zaha

  1. Despite having a bad season Zaha is a goal-scoring threat having averaged 1.97 shots for every 90 minutes at Palace last season. (Wyscout data)
  2. Zaha is very great playing from wide areas and is effective in terms of crossing, dribbling and making runs into the box
  3. Zaha’s dribbling and pace is his strength. And according to available stats, Zaha is the second most fouled player per 90 minutes in the Premier League and this tells of his pace and skilful dribbling.

It’s clear that Zaha was part of the plans to improve in wide areas, but with Pepe’s signing and Nelson in the ranks on improvement and securing Aubameyang’s future in club’s priority, it is unlikely that Arsenal would go for him though he could be a good addition.