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Arsenal must revive Wilfried Zaha interest after Joao Felix blow

Arsenal have been dealt a frustrating setback to their January transfer plans after The Athletic’s David Ornstein dropped a gutting update on their pursuit of Joao Felix.

According to reliable journalist, Premier League rivals Chelsea have struck a “verbal agreement” to sign the Portuguese forward on loan from Atletico Madrid.

They are expected to pay around €11m (£9.7m) fee, which is below what the LaLiga outfit initially wanted, which was thought to be in the region of a €21m (£18.5m) package.

This leaves sporting director Edu Gaspar in a tricky situation as Mikel Arteta is surely desperate to add quality to his frontline following Gabriel Jesus’ gutting injury blow – right now, the Spaniard only has one striker (Eddie Nketiah) to call upon for the next few months.

Perhaps they could find the answer in a previous – and long-term – target in Wilfried Zaha.

Should Arsenal revisit Zaha this month?

YES!

YES!

NO!

NO!

Back in October, 90min reported that the Gunners were being kept informed of the 30-year-old’s situation as he enters the final months of his current £130k-per-week contract at Crystal Palace.

The north Londoners have long been interested in the Ivory Coast international, with him coming close to signing for the club in 2019 but instead, they gambled a whopping £72m on Nicolas Pepe.

Whilst Zaha doesn’t fit the project as much as Felix, given the seven-year age gap between the two, he would be a far more reliable and risk-free option given his vast experience in the top-flight.

280 of his 447 appearances for the Eagles have come in the Premier League, where he has delivered 89 goals and 76 assists, via Transfermarkt.

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The majority of these games has seen the Palace “special talent” – as described by Gunners legend Patrick Vieira – play out wide but he’s more than capable of playing through the middle too, lending further reason to why he’d be a perfect alternative to Felix, who himself isn’t a natural no.9 by trade.

Zaha has a very good record against the team he supported as a boy, managing seven goal contributions across 15 outings, so it’s fair to suggest that he has given former manager Unai Emery plenty of nightmares over the years as the decision to sign Pepe instead now looks woeful, particularly as the now-Aston Villa boss wanted the Eagles gem instead.

The “game-changer” – in the words of ex-manager Roy Hodgson – could go out on loan this month, according to CBS Sports reporter Ben Jacobs, so it would completely make sense for Arsenal to reignite their interest in him.

With Felix now out of the picture, Edu must turn his attention to Zaha in a bid to solve Arteta’s attacking conundrum.

AND in other news, Alongside Mudryk: Edu could seal Arsenal’s “dream signing” in “ridiculous” £50m dynamo