Arsenal Transfer News: Latest Rumours on Wilfried Zaha and Yacine Brahimi

Julian Finney/Getty Images Arsenal have reportedly identified Wilfried Zaha as the ideal replacement for contract rebel Alexis ...

Julian Finney/Getty Images

Arsenal have reportedly identified Wilfried Zaha as the ideal replacement for contract rebel Alexis Sanchez. Gunners boss Arsene Wenger is said to be ready to pay as much as £35 million for the Crystal Palace winger.

Wenger sees Zaha as someone who can replicate Sanchez's match-winning qualities, according to Mike McGrath of The Sun: "Wenger believes he has the ability to replace Sanchez, who will leave the club when his contract expires at the end of the season or in January."

Yet Zaha isn't the only winger being considered as a potential replacement for Sanchez, per McGrath: "Porto forward Yacine Brahimi has been scouted by Wenger but Zaha is seen as a player with proven track record in the Premier League."

Both Zaha and Yacine Brahimi represent interesting alternatives to Sanchez, should the Chile international, whose contract expires next summer, leaves Arsenal. The versatile South American attacker is yet to agree a new deal with the Gunners and has remained the subject of strong interest from Premier League rivals Manchester City, per John Cross of the Daily Mirror.

Sanchez is still on City's radar.Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Palace may be struggling, currently rooted to the bottom of the Premier League, but Zaha remains a star turn. The 25-year-old has scored twice in just five appearances this season, per, including a winner against Chelsea.

Zaha boasts pace, trickery and intelligent movement off the ball. He can tie defenders in knots on the flanks but is also a major threat whenever he drifts through the middle, thanks to shooting power and underrated prowess in the air.

Zaha's versatility makes him a credible replacement for Sanchez, since the latter is equally prolific scoring and creating goals for the Gunners. He often plays wide left but has also been used as a centre-forward by Wenger.

Despite Zaha's similar skills, Arsenal fans are less than enamoured with the idea of Zaha replacing Sanchez. Social media reaction has dubbed Zaha a "downgrade" on Sanchez, per Andy Ha of Football.London.

Zaha is reportedly drawing interest from Gunners boss Arsene Wenger.Julian Finney/Getty Images

A lukewarm response to links with Zaha is somewhat understandable since the winger flopped during his previous attempt to make the grade at a big club. Zaha left Palace for Manchester United in 2013, but his career with the Red Devils never took off and the winger returned to Selhurst Park in 2015.

Yet the idea of Arsenal making a move for Zaha may not be so outlandish, not when Wenger is a known admirer of the player. The Frenchman admitted the Gunners were watching Zaha in 2013 but later backtracked on the comments, per another report from Ha.

If Wenger is still keen, he may find it difficult to acquire Zaha after the player signed a five-year contract back in May. As McGrath pointed out, the "Eagles are determined to keep Zaha."

While Zaha is helping Palace stave off relegation, Brahimi has been featuring in the UEFA Champions League for Porto. The Algeria international hasn't made his mark in Europe's top club competition so far this season but has scored four times and provided three assists in the Portuguese top flight, per

Brahimi has also been scouted by the Gunners.fotopress/Getty Images
Like Zaha, Brahimi can operate at different positions. He can turn games on either wing but can also operate centrally as a No. 10 behind a main striker.

Brahimi doesn't have the experience of England's top flight Zaha boasts, but he does possess a greater pedigree at the higher levels of the European game.

Replacing Sanchez won't be easy for Wenger, but in Zaha and Brahimi, he has identified two targets versatile and skilful enough to assume a similarly significant role in the Arsenal squad.




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GisthubArena: Arsenal Transfer News: Latest Rumours on Wilfried Zaha and Yacine Brahimi
Arsenal Transfer News: Latest Rumours on Wilfried Zaha and Yacine Brahimi
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