Arsenal fans haven’t much to celebrate in the last couple of seasons but there’s a lot of room for optimism after a very exciting transfer window and two wins in their opening games.
The window was quiet for the longest time but with a month left, deals started going through and there were quite a few stand out names. One player who missed out on a move to Arsenal was Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha, despite being heavily linked with a move throughout the summer.
Zaha has carried Crystal Palace for the last couple of years and their record without him in the side is abysmal. He is one of the best players outside the big-6 and would be quite a coup. Arsenal did sign Nicolas Pepe, who also plays on the wings.
Zaha is one of the best dribblers in Europe, has massively improved his goalscoring, constantly wins fouls and has even won penalties and occasionally chips with assists.
Last season, he scored 10 goals, registered 5 assists and won 6 penalties. Zaha is reportedly a childhood Arsenal fan and he can’t be carrying Palace forever, having returned to the club after a failed move to Manchester United, who were going through a transitional phase.
Arsenal are likely to play with Aubameyang and Pepe on the wings with Lacazette playing centrally in most games. However, this shouldn’t affect Zaha’s chances as Aubameyang is now 30 and will be hoping that he can spend his final years as a central player.
Unai Emery has had no trouble tinkering with formations and benching players for certain games so that they can have an impact from the bench, which should not have any effect on Zaha’s game time and development.
Zaha is heading into his prime and Arsenal should prioritize the Ivory Coast international as their next big signing.
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A lot will be revealed about Arsenal on the weekend when they visit Liverpool at Anfield, which has been a terrible ground for them in recent history.
Even a draw will be seen as a good result and a marked improvement on what they’ve been for the last couple of seasons and something they can build on with the likes of Zaha.