According to Daily Star, Arsenal have once again set their sights on Wilfried Zaha this summer. The Crystal Palace star has been linked with a move away from Selhurst Park, and it is believed that the Eagles would demand a hefty price for the former Manchester United winger.
The report claims that Arsenal have made Zaha their number one attacking target in the ongoing summer transfer window but have also identified Bournemouth’s Ryan Fraser as their preferred alternative, should they be priced out of a move for Zaha.
Zaha’s successful spell at Crystal Palace
Zaha has become one of the most lethal wingers in the Premier League since his return to Crystal Palace in 2014. Although he initially joined on loan from Manchester United, his deal was made permanent by Palace in 2015 for a fee of just £3.45 million.
The ex-Man United prodigy has scored 53 goals and provided 65 assists in 323 matches across all competitions. Thirty-five of those goals came after his return to Selhurst Park in 2014, and the 26-year-old has performed consistently since.
Zaha enjoyed his most productive campaign as a professional football this past season. He was involved in 20 league goals, helping the Eagles finish 12th in the league table. His service in front of goal was outstanding, especially with the club lacking reliable goalscoring options under Roy Hodgson.
What can Zaha bring to the table?
Zaha was initially known for his explosive pace and dribbling prowess even during the early stages of his career. But, the Ivorian has matured a lot as an attacker in recent years.
While he can still provide genuine counter-attacking threat with his pace, Zaha is now capable of operating in a more central role and link-up with teammates in the final third. He has also become a lethal finisher, as his remarkable scoring statistics suggest.
Should Arsenal make a move for Zaha?
Zaha would be an excellent addition to the Arsenal side that has appeared overreliant on the services of their two central strikers. The Palace winger, in that regard, will offer Emery with additional options not only on the wings but also in the central attacking positions.
Zaha’s pace and his ability to link up with teammates would bode well for the likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette. And his knack for scoring goals will add more bite to the Arsenal attack next season. However, the Gunners need to get rid of at least two of their unwanted players if they are to have any hopes on meeting Palace’s hefty demands for Zaha. But, with Emery struggling to find suitors for players like Mesut Ozil and Shkodran Mustafi, it’s unlikely Arsenal will be able to fund a move for the Ivorian this summer.