Wilfred Zaha appears ready to step back into the big stage once again, as he seems intent on making the switch to Arsenal. The Gunners are very keen on the 26-year-old, who had a failed spell at Manchester United. Arsenal are yet to make a signing this summer, as the fans grow frustrated after a disappointing debut campaign under Unai Emery. The Gunners finished outside the top four last season and they were beaten in the Europa League final by rivals Chelsea.
Crystal Palace value the player at an astronomical £80 million and this could be one of the major stumbling blocks in a potential deal. Palace are under no pressure to sell the player who has a contract until 2023. The club also rich in cash after agreeing a £50 million deal with Manchester United for the transfer of Aaron Wan-Bissaka.
A reason for the high valuation would be the 25% that United are entitled to receive as part of any transfer fees received from the sale of Zaha. United were able to insert this clause when they sold the 26-year-old back to Palace for a fee that would rise to £9 million depending on performances.
Arsenal were expecting to win the Europa League and return to the Champions League. This would have significantly boosted the club’s revenues. The failure to do so means that Emery’s transfer budget will be limited to just £45 million – a whopping £20 million less than Tottenham’s expenditure on Tanguy Ndombele.
Emery will be able to most of the transfer budget by offloading a couple of players. This seems a likely solution considering that players like Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Mesut Ozil, and Lucas Torreira have been linked with a move away from the Emirates Stadium. Meanwhile, Arsenal are also open to parting ways with Callum Chambers, Laurent Koscielny, and Nacho Monreal. The lack of pace at the back was one of the key problems faced by the Gunners last season.
More than the opportunity to move to a big club, Zaha is reportedly tempted to join a club that he has supported since he was a boy. The move to Arsenal would also mean staying in London for a player, who had a miserable spell in Manchester for three years. Zaha made the switch to Manchester United for around £9 million in the summer of 2013. Even though he was one of the last signings by Sir Alex Ferguson, Zaha failed to make an impression with the Red Devils. However, he has matured a lot since his return to Crystal Palace.
Zaha has easily been one of the most influential players at Palace. Last season, he contributed 10 goals and five assists in the league from just 34 games.
Arsenal certainly need the X factor that they have been missing for a while. Zaha will be able to provide the same, as he has the ability to create something out of nothing. Arsenal fans are badly in need of a signing that would improve the mood around the club ahead of the new season.