According to reports from Sky Sports, Arsenal have tabled a bid of £40million for Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha. However, the same report claims that the Eagles are looking for double that offer for the 26-year-old.
Zaha’s brother has claimed that the winger would see a switch to Arsenal as a dream one. However, it is difficult to see how the Gunners could sign the winger this summer.
The Ivory Coast international, who scored for his country at the African Cup of nations on Monday, has already stated he wants to leave Palace this summer for Champions League football. He will not get that at Arsenal next season.
Zaha would be a good signing
Let’s get this out of the way first. I do believe that Wilfried Zaha would be a good signing. In fact, he would arguably be a decent addition to any team in the Premier League.
He is 26 years of age, has skill, pace and can go past a player. If he was playing for one of the top teams in the league in the last few seasons he would have probably have had twice as many goals and assists in his career.
Arsenal could do with a new wide man, as the players who have occupied the wide positions are either not good, or simply not playing in their favoured positions. In an ideal world, Arsenal would sign the winger, but there is a massive problem in the Gunners probably cannot afford to sign him.
Arsenal have a restricted transfer budget
The Arsenal hierarchy have really stamped down on spending since the arrival of boss Unai Emery, not that they were that free-spending in the Arsene Wenger era. Media reports suggest that the Spaniard will have as little as £50million to spend this summer, which is chump change in terms of the Premier League.
Most clubs in the top-flight will spend that sort of money, as recent television has provided even the smaller clubs with plenty of cash. If those reports are true about the size of the Gunners transfer kitty, then they would not have the cash to sign for Zaha for £80million, or even much more than their original bid.
Arsenal cannot afford to ignore their defensive frailties anymore this summer. In reality, the north London club could do with a whole new back four.
Hardly any of the defenders in the current squad have proven themselves good enough to play for a club wanting to challenge for the top-four. Some of the Gunners defensive displays last season were simply woeful.
The club from north London have already seen a £15million bid for Celtic full-back Kieran Tierney. If the mooted budget is right, then Arsenal would not even be able to afford Zaha and the young full-back.
Arsenal will struggle for a top-four finish next season
Although Arsenal only finished a point outside the top-four last season, the Gunners squad needs strengthening this summer if they are to have a realistic chance of clinching a Champions League spot next season.
Their major rivals for a top-four spot such as Tottenham and Manchester United will strengthen, while Chelsea are banned from signing new players this summer. Chelsea’s ban is potentially good news for the Gunners.
However, Emery’s team are currently odds of 5/4 to seal a Champions League spot in season 2019/20. According to the bookmakers, the team from north London are less likely to finish in the top-four than the other five teams from last years top-six.
The Arsenal job was always going to be a difficult one for Emery to take on. The Spaniard enjoyed a decent debut campaign. However, this summer he has a mammoth task attempting to improve an ageing and arguably mediocre squad.
The signing of Zaha would certainly improve the Gunners attacking options. However, at the moment it seems that Wilfried Zaha is simply too expensive for the budgeting Gunners.
Can Arsenal afford to sign Wilfried Zaha?
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