This Sunday, Arsenal come face-to-face with a player they were desperate to sign in the summer.
Wilfried Zaha was a prominent Arsenal target during the summer transfer window. But he failed to get his move away from Crystal Palace. He remains with the Eagles ahead of the tussle with the club he could have joined.
Zaha and Arsenal links
According to various news sources over the summer, including Sky Sports, Zaha was high on Arsenal’s wishlist. But Palace’s £80m valuation made this deal impossible.
Zaha told Palace he wanted to leave to join Arsenal (Sky Sports) but this move failed to materialise. It was clear that Zaha wanted a big move during the summer window but could he get one in January?
Zaha ready for audition
Zaha could be treating this Arsenal clash as an audition. In front of Unai Emery, Arsenal’s board and the fans, the 26-year-old will be eager to turn it on.
On his day, the rapid and skilful winger is a handful and Arsenal’s defence might struggle to cope. Zaha has not scored in 10 matches this season and only provided one assist. But that could change if he has a point to prove against Arsenal.
Zaha and Pepe reunion?
If Zaha joins Arsenal, he could reunite with Nicolas Pepe. The duo play together for the Ivory Coast national side, where they regularly terrorise defenders and link up well.
This will attract Arsenal, who perhaps need one more experienced attacking player. Zaha could bring the best out of Pepe – who has had a slow start to the season – and improve the Arsenal front-line.