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'Zaha is exactly the kind of player Arsenal need' - Petit urges Gunners to snap up want-away Crystal Palace winger

10:50 BST 06/06/2021
Wilfried Zaha Crystal Palace 2020-21
The former midfielder thinks the Ivory Coast international would be a valuable addition to Mikel Arteta's ranks

Wilfred Zaha "is exactly the kind of player Arsenal need" according to Emmanuel Petit, who has urged the Gunners to snap up the want-away Crystal Palace winger this summer.

Zaha is attracting attention from a number of clubs after another impressive individual campaign at Selhurst Park including Everton and Tottenham, with Goal reporting that the 28-year-old could be available for around £40 million ($57m) when the transfer window reopens.

Petit wants to see Arsenal swoop in and steal Zaha's signature from under the nose of their Premier League rivals, and thinks the Ivorian has the ability to add a new dimension to Mikel Arteta's side.

What has been said?

"Wilfried Zaha has been repeatedly linked with Arsenal in recent years," the former Gunners midfielder told Paddy Power.

"Arsenal used to play with wingers and guys who could make a difference on the flank, who would take responsibility and show the hunger and desire to get the victory – that was the Arsenal that I knew!

"When I played for Arsenal in the late 90s, we had Marc Overmars, Sylvain Wiltord and Robert Pires – these players were so exciting to watch. Zaha is an unpredictable player, you don’t know what he’s going to do with the ball.

"He’s got a strong character, and sometimes he needs to control of his emotions, but he’s exactly the kind of player Arsenal need. He’d get the fans excited and stimulate his own team-mates too. 

"For ages, Arsenal haven’t had a player who could dribble or make a difference with the ball at his feet. With Zaha, they would have somebody capable of taking responsibility and not scared to take on defenders."

Zaha seeking Palace exit

Arsenal were interested in signing Zaha in the summer of 2019 but ended up acquiring Nicolas Pepe from Lille for a club-record fee instead, and the mercurial attacker has since had to bide his time and wait for another opportunity to join a bigger club.

Zaha, who endured an ill-fated spell at Manchester United between 2013 and 2015, still has two years left to run on his contract at Palace, but it has been reported that he has informed club officials of his desire to leave.

The Ivory Coast international said he would welcome the chance to step up to a higher level during an interview with The Face last month, as he stated: "I feel like I can have another shot at the top teams, because my dream is to win things.

"I’m good enough to go out there and compete with the best.  If the opportunity came, I wouldn’t turn it down, because I feel like I deserve it. It’s so I can show my kids: ​'This is what daddy won'."

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