Wilfried Zaha risks becoming a ‘bit-part player’ for Arsenal if he moves to the Emirates from Crystal Palace.
Zaha is in the form of his life for Palace, scoring five goals in nine Premier League games this season having notched 14 in the 2021-22 season.
He has been linked with a move away from Selhurst Park throughout his Palace career and has stated his desire to leave on a couple of occasions.
Chelsea were thought to be keen on the Ivory Coast international in the summer window, and recent rumours suggest Arsenal are also interested.
The 29-year-old is into the last year of his contract with Palace and David Orntein of The Athletic claimed on Friday that “many feel” that Zaha will “go as a free agent” in the summer.
“Palace would dearly love to sign Zaha to sign him to a new contract I’m sure. But with free agency looming and he’s never had that big move that many anticipated,” Ornstein said.
“Of course, he went to Manchester United and it didn’t work out but since then we’ve seen Arsenal linked with him, we’ve seen Tottenham at various points, and we’ve seen Chelsea last summer.
“That move hasn’t happened. Palace value him so highly as they know without him there’s a good chance they’d be in a relegation scrap.
“So they’ve always set a very high asking price. There’ll be a number of clubs who will look at him and wonder if they can get him for nothing in the summer of 2023.
“There’ll be conversations I’m sure. Many in the game feel he’ll hold out and go as a free agent and play in the Champions League.”
But Paul Merson isn’t sure if ‘the grass is going to be greener for Zaha’ away from Palace.
Merson wrote in his Daily Star column: ‘Wilfried Zaha plays every week at Crystal Palace. He can have a bad game and still start the following match and that might not happen at a Big Six club.
‘I think he should seriously consider his options before running down his contract. He’s a legend at Palace and the manager loves him. I see someone like Arsenal coming in for him if they get into the Champions League but do you go there and risk becoming a bit-part player?
‘He’s playing the best football of his career and there is a reason for that. He needs to sit down and have a big think about his future.’