Namibia v Cote d'Ivoire: Group D - 2019 Africa Cup of Nations

Ex-Spurs man feels 'Arsenal would be perfect' destination for seven-goal trickster

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Former Tottenham Hotspur striker Peter Crouch has told the The Daily Mail that Arsenal are the ideal club for Crystal Palace star Wilfried Zaha.

The Ivorian was heavily linked with a move to North London when Unai Emery was at the helm last season. Zaha was the former Arsenal boss’ priority target, but the Eagles’ asking price proved to be a bit too much for us.

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Arsenal signed Nicolas Pepe instead and the former Lille man has had his critics. Mikel Arteta has been hesitant to use him in the Premier League this season. The one time he did use the Ivorian, he got himself sent off and the Gunners boss was far from happy.

Pepe, despite his inconsistency, has had a decent start to the campaign. The Ivorian has been directly involved in six goals in all competitions – more than any other Arsenal player so far this season.

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However, his compatriot at Crystal Palace has had a better start to the campaign. Zaha has scored seven goals and has provided two assists in nine starts in the Premier League so far.

Crouch: Arsenal would be perfect for Zaha

Zaha is proving to be the better Ivorian at this moment in time, and Crouch believes that a move to Arsenal would be perfect for him. However, he feels that the Palace star deserves a Champions League club – something that we aren’t at the moment.

Crouch said: “He’s definitely got the talent (to play in the Champions League). I was going to say Arsenal would be perfect for him but Arsenal are far away from being a Champions League club at the moment. I doubt he would play regularly at Liverpool or Manchester City but perhaps a club abroad would consider him.”

Zaha is undoubtedly a phenomenal player. His pace, trickery and his composure in the final third make him a nightmare for opposition defenders, but he hasn’t quite shown enough to warrant a move to a top Champions League club.

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Signing Pepe over Zaha was the right decision

Zaha’s best goal return in a single season is 10 goals. Pepe – described as a flop by many – scored eight times in his debut campaign in England. He is on the right path to break that record this term, especially if he can continue his form in the Europa League.

Zaha is also three years older than Pepe and Crystal Palace demanded a fee higher than what we paid for the former Lille man last year. That made a deal for the Eagles star financially impossible, and it is no surprise that no other club decided to make a move for him.

It is hard to say if Arsenal would have been a better side if Zaha was at the club instead of Pepe. Both players are unstoppable on their day, but the duo can be extremely frustrating at times to watch.

Zaha would no doubt love to get his big move to Champions League club in the summer. However, the chances of that happening are very small and he might well have to settle for a Europa League side, or worse – stay at Selhurst Park for another season.

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