Arsenal Legend Warns Club off Wilfried Zaha; Suggests Former Chelsea Man as Alternative

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By Martin Graham | 6th Apr 2022

Emmanuel Petit, Arsenal legend and member of the invincibles squad has told his former club to abandon their hopes of signing Crystal Palace attacker Wilfried Zaha.

Arsenal have been following Zaha for more than three seasons but all efforts to pry the Ivorian off Palace have proved futile. Zaha, at a point, rebelled against the club, but has now found renewed understanding with the hierarchy and is enjoying his increased role as Palace’s main man.

Arsenal, meanwhile, are once again looking at signing Zaha in the summer as they seek to reinforce their squad with attackers following the exits which will happen in the summer.

Petit, in a recent interview with Genting Casino, told his former club not to consider signing the former England youth international as it would hinder the progress of their youngsters.

Petit said: “I love watching Zaha. He’s an electric player. He can be strange on the pitch sometimes, with his provocations.

“But I really liked his reactions against Arsenal, he controlled his reactions, he was smiling, he was very confident. It should be like that for every game.

“Of course, he would fit in well at Arsenal. But my question would be, what do you do with Gabriel Martinelli?

“Martinelli has been very good since his injury and he’s following in the same footsteps of Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka. This is the next generation of Arsenal players and if you brought in Zaha then he’d play regular football and Martinelli would be on the bench.

“So I’m not quite sure about that. Arsenal need competition in their squad, for sure, but when you see the prospect of young players, you have to be very careful with the players you bring into the club.”

Petit asks Arsenal to go for AS Roma striker

Petit instead suggested that Arsenal make the first move to bring former Chelsea man Tammy Abraham back to the Premier League, stating that he will be a good fit for the club.

Petit said, “Abraham reminds me of Emmanuel Adebayor, his physical presence in the penalty area. Abraham’s reaction when he arrived at Roma has been brilliant because he’s scored 15 [league] goals and has so many assists, so he’s enjoying his football there.

“He went to Italy with the feeling of revenge for what happened at Chelsea.

“He’s not stupid, he will see what’s going on with the strikers at Chelsea with Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner, they’re struggling.

“So maybe he’s thinking, ‘it would have been worse for me if I had stayed at Chelsea.’ He made the right decision and he’s having a great season with Roma.

“I’m pretty sure he wants to come back to England and he would fit perfectly at Arsenal because he’s a different player to Alexandre Lacazette with a different style, different physique and he’s a goalscorer.

“Even at Chelsea he was scoring goals, not as many as he wanted, but he’s 24 years old so he still has a lot to learn.”

The 24-year-old Chelsea academy graduate moved to the Serie A side last summer but has a £68 million buy-back clause attached to his move.

With Chelsea struggling in the striker department, the Blues could think about activating the clause, but Petit thinks Arsenal should capitalise on the player’s previously stated desire to return to England in order to secure a good prospect.

It remains unclear whether Arsenal would be interested in a move for the England international.

Martin Graham is an MFF sports writer

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