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Arsenal Bid Half Of Crystal Palace's Asking Price For Zaha

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).

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). 

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