The summer transfer window in England is open and will stay that way until Tuesday, August 31st. Premier League clubs like Arsenal still have plenty of time to bring in new players while also offloading a few.
One man who’s been in the conversation as a potential Gunners target this summer is Wilfried Zaha. The Crystal Palace forward, who’s representing Ivory Coast on the international level, has been on Arsenal’s radar for years. In fact, in 2019, he was very close to moving to North London, but Arsenal ended up giving up on the transfer, the reason being the price tag Crystal Palace put on their best player.
Instead, Arsenal went with Zaha’s Ivory Coast teammate, Nicolas Pepe, cashing out £72 million, which remains the club’s highest expenditure in history. Fast-forward to 2021 and Arsenal seem to be thinking about breaking that record.
Even though oddsmakers think Zaha will likely remain at Selhurst Park at the start of the 2021-22 season, the Emirates Stadium could be his next destination. Many online bookmakers are predicting that Arsenal is the favourite in the sweepstakes for Zaha’s signature.
Wilfried Zaha Next Club Odds
At the moment, Crystal Palace is favoured to keep Wilfried Zaha on the squad at the start of the season, with the odds of 1/6. No surprise there, as the Premier League season starts on Friday, August 13, meaning that there’s not much time left to get the job done.
However, who knows what the future holds for Zaha. Oddsmakers think that his future might be somewhere north of the River Thames. There are four London clubs in the discussion, as well as two from the Merseyside area. On top of that, some sportsbooks also see one German club in the contest for the Zaha deal.
The list of favourites for Zaha’s transfer goes as follows:
- Arsenal 8/1
- Tottenham 10/1
- Everton 11/1
- Chelsea 14/1
- Borussia Dortmund 14/1
- West Ham 16/1
- Manchester United 20/1
Zaha Wants to Go to Arsenal
It’s no secret that Zaha would like to change scenery and according to his own admission, Arsenal would be a preferred destination. The forward made an appearance on the Greatest Game podcast a few months ago, where he revealed the Gunners’ interest in him.
The Ivorian forward is turning 29 in November, which suggests time is ticking away for him to achieve his dreams of winning trophies. A dream which he realized, and probably won’t be able to, with Crystal Palace.
A transfer to Arsenal could write a different tale. Although they’re not among the top favourites for winning the Premier League this season, the Gunners are a strong team that definitely has what it takes to challenge for other trophies like the FA Cup or the Europa League in the coming seasons. Zaha arriving at the Emirates would certainly increase Arsenal’s chances of winning these.
A Perfect Addition to Arteta’s Team
If there’s a one-man team in the Premier League, it’s Crystal Palace. Wilfried Zaha has been the Eagles’ best player by a large margin over the last couple of years. In fact, Zaha’s been with the club since the last time Crystal Palace played in the Championship.
Born in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, Zaha was signed to Crystal Palace’s youth team in 2004, when he was only 12 years old. He advanced through the ranks over the years, eventually getting to the Eagles’ first team in 2010.
He had spent three seasons there before being signed by Manchester United. The Red Devils’ story didn’t go well, so he returned to Crystal Palace on two loan spells, in-between of which was a loan spell at Cardiff City. Finally, in 2015, he returned to Crystal Palace on a permanent contract.
That’s the period when his rise to stardom started – over the last five years, he’s scored a total of 41 Premier League goals for Crystal Palace in 161 games.
He’s also made more assists than most other Crystal Palace players, making himself involved in almost one-third of all the goals scored by this team in the last couple of years.
With such an impressive portfolio, it’s no surprise that Crystal Palace would like to keep him in the squad. What this means is that in order to land Zaha, Arsenal would have to open its billfold and offer up a princely sum.
The Gunners Need Money for Zaha’s Transfer
Two years ago, Crystal Palace reportedly asked somewhere around £70 million for Zaha, which seemed too expensive from Arsenal’s point of view. Two summers later, the Gunners might have changed their perspective.
The thing is that the Arsenal players in Zaha’s position haven’t been very impressive. In the 2020-21 season, for instance, Nicolas Pepe scored only 10 goals. Willian was even worse, scoring just one goal in 25 Premier League games. In comparison, Zaha scored 11 goals the same season.
It seems obvious that Arsenal wants to sign Zaha, even if it means breaking the club transfer record. The trouble is that in order to get such money, the Gunners would need to offload some players.
Rumor has it that Alexandre Lacazette might be on his way to West Ham, while Hector Bellerin is reportedly moving to either Inter Milan or Atletico Madrid.