Morning all. An utter scorcher in London today means i’ll be basking myself all afternoon in a garden in Hertfordshire today methinks, as my Pa rustles me up some piri-piri chicken and maybe a sausage or two. I wonder what Wilfred haha is doing?
If you believe the press he’s probably phoning up Roy Hodgson and the Palace ownership and saying “c-mon, lemme go to Arsenal. I’ll be yer best friend. C-mion!”
We know he supported Arsenal as a kid – there’s pictures and videos showing this – but I’m exceedingly skeptical that this deal is going to happening for an array of reasons.
Firstly, the fee Palace want, which is rumoured to be around the £80million mark. That is astronomical for a guy who is very talented and would no doubt improve us, but also it is unrealistic because we aren’t talking about one of the best three or four players in the Premier League I don’t think. Don’t get me wrong he potentially could be if he joins a bigger club like Palace and proves himself, but £80million would be quite some investment for any team to take a punt on a player like Zaha. I can’t even see the financially doped teams coughing up that kind of cash. So unless Palace lower their valuation I just can’t see that happening. Certainly not just yet. As the window wears on they might be more realistic and drop it to between £40 to £50million, which would be more in line with his probable value, but if that happens then I think Arsenal will probably have moved on if we get to August and there still isn’t any movement on the price from Palace.
Which brings me to my second point, which is the value in relation to what Arsenal have to spend this summer, because it isn’t going to be north of £100million and if Zaha is even available for £50million, Arsenal will still be stretched because they have other priorities. We’re looking at Tierney for around £25million and then the club are looking at Saliba for a chunk of cash too, so to then have a punt at Zaha would mean we’d have to have £100million ready to drop on new players this summer. Which means that the whole ‘£40million’ figure that everyone knows about is either a load of old tosh, or these Zaha rumours are. So something’s gotta give for this transfer to even be a talking point beyond a bit of a back page paper seller on a Saturday morning. Either Arsenal have been telling fibs about the £40million, or Crystal Palace have to drop their price. They’ve just offloaded Wan-Bissaka if you believe The Ornacle, which means they have £50million and therefore no worries about cash which means they can easily hold out for a club to start sniffing around Zaha. I’d like to think that Arsenal will be more decisive than to just sit around all summer and hope that the price comes down towards the end of August. That’s what we used to do under Wenger and Gazidis but last summer gave me a bit more hope that we were just starting to realise the importance of getting deals done nice and early.
Perhaps there could be something in the ‘player-plus-swap’ deal with the likes of Chambers or Jenkinson available, but although yesterday I pondered on Twitter as to whether that could be good from our perspective, those deals rarely happen because they are usually quite complex and you need quite a lot of ducks to fall in to line. I’m not sure we’re too great at getting ducks to fall in to line if i’m honest with you. Do Palace need someone like Chambers in the middle of their team? And how much are Arsenal valuing him at? Because unless it’s about £40million I still can’t see that the agreement can be reached.
I think Zaha would be a great signing but at this stage i’m not optimistic and even The Ornacle was quoted as giving the signing a three out of ten chance of happening, which sums up how likely that it is to happen, because he isn’t reporting things based on anything other than what his spies tell him. And those spies are pretty on the money most of the time.
Right, that’s me for the day, I’m off to bake myself in the sun.