Wilfried Zaha is reportedly Arsenal’s number one attacking target this summer. That worries me.
The Ivory Coast international is one of the most overrated players in the Premier League. One of those players who makes Soccer Am’s highlights reel week in, week out, but actually has very poor output.
Zaha turns 27 next season, and last year was the first time he had ever scored 10 league goals in a single campaign. Crystal Palace’s reported £70million asking price for is too much for a player with his ability and age.
Were Zaha 22 or 23, you would be entitled to think “fantastic young talent” but he is not. In November he turns 27. That means he is not going to get much better. He is at his peak. And any transfer fee spent on him is unlikely to be recouped.
Last season he had a decent season. But it was not an exceptional one.
Yes, he scored 10 goals, but he averaged nearly 300 minutes per goal. The much maligned Theo Walcott Only averaged as high as this twice in his Arsenal career, the last being when he was 22.
In Walcott’s last full season with Arsenal, he scored 19 goals. He was deemed by many as dead wood. Not good enough.
Comparing Walcott to Zaha is one of those ones where Zaha looks a lot better, he beats a man more often, has more tricks. Yet Walcott gets more goals and more assists. Throughout his Arsenal career, Walcott was ugly yet efficient. Zaha is the opposite.
Zaha’s 10 goals this season have come at a very high minutes per goal ratio. Out of all the wingers to score 10 Premier League goals, he had by far the worst ratio.
I understand that on the list, he played for the worst club. But this also means he got the most game time.
Whilst Sterling had to share the limelight with Sane, Silva x2, De Bruyne, everything that Palace did went through Zaha.
Zaha is a good mid-table player. Inconsistent but can win you games. He is the type of player that will put in 5 match winning performances a season, and those 5 performances will be enough to take a team from a relegation battle to mid-table safety.
He would do a job as an impact substitute at a top club, but certainly not at the price Palace are demanding.
There is an argument that he is “better than what Arsenal already have” which whilst true, does not mean we should buy him. Being better than what we have does not necessarily make him the best option.
Even if he was on the market at £40million, I would still feel that as overpriced. There are younger, cheaper, more exciting players in world football.