Signing Zaha gives Arsenal a key skill that could take them to the next level – opinion
Arsenal’s transfer window is yet to really begin and reported meagre transfer budget seemingly stopping any potential optimism within the fanbase.
However, over the last week, a bid was reported to go in for Celtic’s Scottish International wingback Kieran Tierney – the bid was rejected but the same reports suggest a follow-up effort will happen.
Another bid that has been revealed is a £40m for Crystal Palace’s Wilfred Zaha. The expectation is that the bid will be rejected as it falls short of Crystal Palace’s £80m evaluation.
Wilfred Zaha himself is believed to favour a move to Arsenal, the team he supported as a boy and his brother/agent spoke to Sky Sports news to publicly plead with Palace to let Zaha leave because of what he’s done for the club.
The question for Arsenal is that should they really be spending what you’d imagine would be a very heavy chunk of their budget on a 26-year-old player who plays for a club in the bottom half of the table?
My answer would be yes. If you agree with me, get on the bookmakers offers online as the odds are still against Zaha moving!
Premier League proven
Zaha has grown up in the Premier League and his performances have consistently improved year on year.
It’s been a long time since he looked like that lost boy at Manchester United and since he went back to Crystal Palace in 2014 his goal tally has steadily improved every year even though he plays in a team that doesn’t score a high amount of goals.
You would imagine Zaha would mostly be signed to play on the left wing for Arsenal but it also shouldn’t be forgotten that last season Zaha played 18 games as a central striker for Crystal Palace.
With Arsenal losing Danny Welbeck on a free transfer any striking options beyond Arsenal’s due of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette would be very thin and if Arsenal plans to continue using formations that include playing 2 strikers, they would need others that can fill into that area.
Filling a dimension
Arsenal’s play was very boring a predictable last season and part of that was because Arsenal doesn’t have many players that can take the ball past players at pace.
Alex Iwobi and Alex Lacazette were Arsenal’s joint highest statted player for dribbles for 90 with a very feeble 1.3., both players are skilful but lack the raw pace to get away from players at will.
In contrast, Wilfred Zaha has over double that with 3.4 dribbles per 90. Its the lack of this ability that cuts down Arsenal’s variety in attack and the inclusion of Zaha’s ability to panic the players he runs against would certainly add a flavour to Arsenal’s attack we haven’t seen since a prime Alexis Sanchez was still there.