Ex-Arsenal man Paul Merson who turned to punditry has offered the gunners a piece of advice. Merson has asked Arsenal to sign Crystal Palace Wilfried Zaha this summer.
Zaha has been an outstanding player for the Eagles since joining them in 2015. Moreover, the winger has established as one of the bests in his position in the league. Merson, in his column for the Daily Star has insisted that Arsenal go all out for the Crystal Palace winger.
However, the gunners were pretty close in striking a deal for Zaha back in 2019, only for them to turn their attention towards Nicolas Pepe in the 11th hour. Paul Merson feels Arsenal committed a mistake and writes now is the time to correct it.
Paul Merson wants to see the Crystal Palace winger at Arsenal
Zaha has many a times made it clear that he wants to leave Crystal Palace. But the Eagles have been super resistant in keeping the talented man at Selhurst. The price tag labelled by Palace on Zaha has often forced the interested parties to pull the plug on a potential deal. However, Merson feels that Zaha, who is 30 now would come for cheap.
Merson wrote, “Arsenal should go back in for Wilfried Zaha and try to sign him from Crystal Palace this summer. They wanted him before and missed out. But Zaha wanted to join them and he won’t stay at Palace forever.”
Merson further writes how he thinks Crystal Palace player have proven to be a game-changer for Arsenal. “I think he would have made a difference to Arsenal. He’s better than Nicolas Pepe. He draws players towards him and makes things happen. You’d get him a bit cheaper and he’s a better player now than he was when they tried before. I think Pepe goes this summer if they can find a buyer, and sooner or later they will try Gabriel Martinelli up front,” added Merson.
Arsenal’s failed deal for the rejuvenated Zaha
Wilfried Zaha was considered a flop at Manchester United who often loaned him. But the winger finally left Old Trafford permanently, joining Palace in 2015 for a mere £3.42 million. Since then, Zaha has rejuvenated himself in an absolute monster. Zaha has so far played 246 games for the Crystal Palace after completing his permanent move. The winger has impressively managed 56 goals and 41 assists in those 246 outings for Crystal Palace and impressed arsenal.
However, his best numbers came in 2018/19 season, when me achieved double figures for both goals scored and assists in the league. Zaha scored 10 and made 10 in 34 league appearances that season. It was Zaha’s this form that prompted Arsenal to approach Crystal Palace for his transfer. But in a sudden turn of events, the gunners ended up landing Nicolas Pepe for £72 million. Unai Emery, the Arsenal manager at that time lashed out at the gunners after his sack for ignoring his call to sign Zaha.
Emery while speaking to The Guardian had said, “We signed Pepe. He’s a good player but we didn’t know his character and he needs time, patience. I favoured someone who knew the league and wouldn’t need to adapt. Zaha won games on his own: Tottenham, Manchester City, Us.
But Emery further did admit that Zaha’s deal was a bit difficult. “It’s also true he was expensive and Crystal Palace didn’t want him to sell to Arsenal or clubs,” Emery said. “There were a series of decisions that had repercussions.”
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