The Zaha transfer saga and why the deal failed-

Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodson has admitted that Premier League club Arsenal had not come anywhere near the valuation of signing star forward Wilfried Zaha in the summer transfer window. The North London side had made a few offers for Zaha but their advances have been rejected, because Hodgson believed that Arsenal needed to splash out more funds for the 25-year-old forward.

Unai Emery endured quite a mixed bag of feelings after taking over as manager of Arsenal Football Club back in the summer of 2018. When the Spaniard initially took over the reins from legendary boss Arsene Wenger, Emery had some big boots to fill in as his predecessor was in charge of Arsenal for 22 long years and won several major honors during his time at the club.

In the early parts of the season, the Spaniard was doing quite well as he implemented his philosophy into the club with most of his summer signings hitting the ground running. Emery also guided Arsenal to an unbeaten 22 game streak across all competitions and a top four spot look quite sure until a late collapse towards the back end of the season. At the end of the season, Arsenal finished in fifth place on the League table, missing out on a Champions League berth. However, the Gunners still had a chance of making It into the elite tournament if they managed to beat local rivals Chelsea in the final of the Europa League but the Blues handed Arsenal a 4-1 thrashing in Baku.

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This indicated that Emery has a lot of work to do in the summer and Arsenal need reinforcements if they are going to compete for major honors in the near future. Arsenal has already signed up Dani Ceballos on loan and racked up permanent deals for Gabriel Martinelli and William Saliba but there are more arrivals that the Arsenal faithful are expecting.

Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha was keen on a move to the Emirates Stadium this summer and Arsenal saw a £40m bid rejected a few weeks ago. The main reason that Palace refuted that offer was that Roy Hodgson believed that his prized asset is worth almost double that amount. The 71-year-old Englishman spoke to Sky Sports after Crystal Palace beat Barnet 6-2 in a friendly and said, “I don’t think Arsenal have actually made a bid that has come anywhere near our valuation. I’m sure the player realizes that if someone’s going to take him away from us, he’ll expect clubs to pay the market value. Until someone does that, there’s not much to discuss regarding Wilf.”

Zaha has admitted that he wants to join Arsenal in the summer but with the transfer speculation circling the English attacker, there is no way that would join the Gunners because Emery does not have a transfer war chest to afford the 26-year-old.  Arsenal’s inability to qualify for the Champions League will probably haunt them this summer.

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The Final Call

Eventually, the North London giants failed to sign the winger and had to look for other options. They went on to bring in Nicolas Pepe  from Ligue 1 outfit Lille, who could change things around at the Emirates, while his compatriot stayed with The Eagles.

It will be interesting to now see which team Zaha joins in the future, though Palace had made it clear this summer that they would prefer to sell to Chelsea or Manchester United, than Arsenal.