Arsenal signing Wilfried Zaha viewed as serious possibility
Sebastian Denis reports for FootMercato that Arsenal have once again expressed their interest in Wilfried Zaha, and club sources suggest a firm offer for the Crystal Palace winger is viewed as an increasingly serious possibility this summer.
The Gunners aren’t the only side credited with an interest, however, with Marseille also keen to bring in the Ivory Coast international.
Marseille would need to qualify for the Champions League to have a serious hope of bringing Zaha in, but that seems likely at the moment.
The Ligue 1 side sit second in the table, albeit just three points above fourth – which is a Europa League spot.
Back in England, the Daily Mail also report on Marseille’s interest, before adding that Arsenal remain in the frame.
An Arsenal move is viewed as contingent on the futures of Reiss Nelson and Folarin Balogun, who have both been linked with summer departures.
The Mail add that Zaha has already turned down an offer of £9m-a-year net from Saudi Arabian club Al-Ittihad, as he intends to remain in one of Europe’s top leagues for now.
After strong links to Zaha in the past, the general feeling among Arsenal supporters is that the ship has probably sailed at this point, with the forward now in his thirties. But there are reasons why the transfer could still happen.
Primarily, Zaha’s status as a free agent certainly makes the move more attractive.
Arsenal are likely to go big for a midfielder in the summer, and picking up a winger on a free transfer would be an easy way to free up funds.
The Gunners have also been focusing more on Premier-League-proven players in recent windows, adding Aaron Ramsdale, Ben White, Oleksandr Zinchenko, and Gabriel Jesus to the starting lineup, as well as players like Leandro Trossard and Jorginho.
On top of that, Zaha shares many of the attributes Mikel Arteta seems to look for in his forwards.
He’s versatile; capable of playing on the wings or centrally. He’s a strong dribbler, excelling when he has the chance to take defenders on in one-on-one situations.
He’s also a goal threat, scoring double figures in three of the last five Premier League seasons – with a few games left of this campaign to try and make it four out of five. Though it’s worth mentioning he’s currently out injured.
There’s always the question of whether he could replicate that in a team less focused around him. Palace very much play to Zaha’s strengths, and he wouldn’t get that luxury at Arsenal.
But we’ve seen with Trossard that a move from a mid-table club to one at the top of the league can actually enhance a player’s impact if the move is right.