Premier League • England

Arsenal legend warns Zaha swoop would have damaging effect on ‘very good’ Arteta favourite

Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli and Emile Smith Rowe of Arsenal

Arsenal have been urged not to sign Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha by legendary midfielder Emmanuel Petit, as it could have a damaging effect on one star.

The Eagles are reportedly willing to listen to offers for their talisman this summer as they look to continue their drive towards signing younger players with greater sell-on value.

Zaha has been a regular starter for Patrick Vieira’s men while the likes of Eberechi Eze and Michael Olise have been brought in as the future of the club.

However, at 29-year’s-old, it looks like Palace are finally ready to cash in on the Ivory Coast man. Indeed, they still hope they could fetch a significant fee for the player, having demanded £80million before.

Petit, though, thinks Arsenal should not entertain bringing the attacker to The Emirates.

The Frenchman wants his old club to focus on the continued development of Gabriel Martinelli. He also mentions Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka as key pieces for the club going forward.

He told a report in the Daily Mail: “Of course, he would fit in well at Arsenal. But my question would be, what do you do with Gabriel Martinelli?

“Martinelli has been very good since his injury and he’s following in the same footsteps of Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka.”

Crystal Palace look to cash in on Wilfried Zaha this summer

Crystal Palace are looking to cash in on club icon Wilfried Zaha this summer and want £50m

Martinelli a pivotal player for Arteta

Martinelli has played a key role in Arsenal’s push for the top four this season. He’s scored five times in 27 Premier League appearances for the club.

There is a school of thought that Arteta needs to add more quality to create for competition for first-team spots.

However, there have to be question marks over spending in excess of £50-60m on an aging winger. Especially one who has had his fair share of injury issues.

Taking that route over persisting with a young player who is clearly making significant progress does appear slightly odd.

READ MORE: Arsenal hit snag with plan to sell failed signing as Edu maps out alternative transfer route