Arsenal insider David Ornstein has reported that Arsenal has made a bid of $50.45 million (£40 million) for Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha. Zaha has been a vital player in Palace’s side, netting 10 goals and 10 assists last season, helping the Eagles secure a solid mid-table finish.
Arsenal's bid is far below Palace’s valuation of Zaha, as the club has stated it is not willing to part with him for anything less than $100 million (£80m).
Crystal Palace are determined to keep hold of Wilfried Zaha, unless their £80m valuation is met.(Via: BBC Sport) pic.twitter.com/6e5PXOwvBe
— Transferchanger (@TransferChanger) July 2, 2019
This may be an attempt by Arsenal to unsettle Zaha in the club, as he has made it clear he wants to play for Arsenal. Arsenal will likely be seeking a compromise between these two values; the question is whether Palace feels it can sell Zaha and still stay up in the league, and with defensive stalwart Aaron Wan-Bissaka off to Manchester United, Palace may feel it needs Zaha to stay competitive.
However, upsetting Zaha could lead to him refusing to play and forcing a move, so Palace needs to make sure it moves forward carefully when it comes to dealing with Zaha. Even if the clubs reach a compromise, Arsenal may not be able to afford anything above $50 million unless it manages to get some high-salary players off the books like Mesut Ozil and Henrik Mkhitaryan.
As an Arsenal fan I feel Zaha would fit wonderfully in Unai Emery’s system, as his goal scoring ability would take some of the pressure and attention off Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette.
That being said, I don’t think he will be a Gunner come next season.
Arsenal doesn’t have the funds to get a player of Zaha’s quality and address its issues at center back and left back. I think a much more realistic target, and the one that as an Arsenal fan I would personally prefer, is Ajax’s Hakim Ziyech, who has the potential to be a world-class talent and whose work rate suits Emery’s high-pressure tactics.
Knowing Arsenal though, my guess is that they don’t buy any wingers and instead ends up signing Yacine Brahimi on a free.
The Algerian has shown flashes of immense talent over his career, but as of now, he lacks the footballing IQ and consistency to be an elite player, … which means he should fit right in with the rest of the Arsenal squad (sigh).