In-form attacker back in focus for Arsenal, as Arteta plans last-week transfer move

Wilfried Zaha Crystal Palace August 2022

Arsenal could make a shock last-week transfer swoop for Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha, according to a report.

The Gunners are thought to be readying a move for another attacker with Nicolas Pepe set to leave on loan to Nice. The Ivory Coast international has endured a torrid spell in north London and the Ligue 1 side are keen on a temporary move.

That would release crucial wiggle room in the wage budget and a number of sources have reported Arsenal are looking to add at least one new player.

Yeremy Pino and Pedro Neto are the two high profile names mentioned. However, O Jogo report that Arsenal have almost zero chance of landing Neto.

Bruno Lage is in no mood to sell the talented Portuguese attacker and his price tag would be sky high.

While 19-year-old Villarreal star Pino holds a release clause worth around £67m in his contract. Unai Emery will also be unwilling to lose the winger to his former club for a bargain price.

That could see Arsenal return for Zaha, according to reporter Dean Jones.

Arsenal were very keen on Zaha in 2019 and in fact almost signed the former Man Utd man. But instead Emery decided to spend £72m on Pepe, and speaking about the failed move in April he said: “I had a conversation with the manager actually. [Unai] Emery was just like, ‘We don’t really need to go through much’.

“He said he’d seen me play, he knows I can change games at any time and stuff like that. He was like, ‘Yeah we’d love to have you’ and I was just like, ‘Yeah I’d love to come’.

“The conversation was rather straightforward because I played against him when he was manager of Arsenal. He saw what I could do, saw my work-rate, and what I could add to the team. Obviously, it was up to the club who they chose and they chose Pepe over me.”

Zaha in the picture for Gunners

Now Jones says Arsenal could reignite their interest in Palace’s talisman.

“They [Pino and Neto] are not the only two names [Arsenal] are looking at…In the background, there is Wilfried Zaha,” Jones said on The Done Deal Show.

“That deal is not moving forward at the moment. But Zaha is definitely one of those players that ticks the boxes and that Arsenal have an eye on.

“We will have to wait and see if they go down that path. Zaha is obviously in red-hot form at the moment.”

Zaha, 29, has started the season with three goals in three games. And after already indicating he would like a move to The Emirates previously, it’s likely he would fancy a move across London.

The attacker will also turn 30 in November and he could see a potential transfer as his final chance in the big time.