Former Crystal Palace chairman Simon Jordan has accused Arsenal of trying to “create a divide” between the Eagles and star player, Wilfried Zaha.
The Gunners have reportedly tabled a £40m bid for the Ivorian winger, although it is thought that Palace value him more in the region of £100m. Jordan believes this bid has the sole purpose of unsettling Zaha, who still has four years left on his contract at Selhurst Park.
Does Zaha deserve his chance at the top? Five things to know…
- Zaha has been Palace’s key player over the past few years.
- The Ivorian’s form has often attracted attention from bigger clubs.
- Zaha’s brother, Judiceal, has called on Palace to allow the winger his “dream move”.
- He made 20 goal contributions last season, evenly split between goals and assists.
- Only Eden Hazard completed more take-ons and won more fouls than Wilfried Zaha in the 2018-19 Premier League season.
And Jordan, who ran the rule over the South London club’s finances between 2000 and 2010, has accused Arsenal of doing nothing more than trying to unsettle Zaha.
He told talkSPORT: “This is a liberty.
“As much as a £40m transfer becomes a liberty, this is a liberty.
“You’ve got Arsenal trading on a currency of trying to create division between the player and the football club.
“If you want to buy a player like Wilfried Zaha… if [Riyad] Mahrez can go to Manchester City for £60m, then Zaha can go for £60m to £80m to Arsenal.
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“If they can’t afford him, they can’t afford him.”
Zaha himself is thought to be interested in the move with his brother, Judicael, calling on Palace to allow his “dream” move to happen.
Divide and conquer
Jordan’s comments may draw the ire of Arsenal fans but, if his suspicions are true, their tactic of trying to divide Zaha’s interest from those of his club is very similar to that of Barcelona when they were chasing Cesc Fabregas back in 2010.
While celebrating Spain’s 2010 World Cup success, Gerard Pique forced a Barcelona shirt on the visibly uncomfortable Fabregas, signalling the Blaugrana’s intention to bring the midfielder back to the Catalan region. Some Arsenal fans were less than impressed…
Sky News just replayed the Cesc Barca shirt prank. I'm even more angry than I was when I first saw it.
— Áshburtön Gröve (@ashburton_grove) July 13, 2010
I've also blocked out the cesc with barca shirt on and replaced it with him stiching Puyol a headbutt and knocking out pique.
— Andrew McGahon (@andrewmcgahon_) July 13, 2010
Sure enough, by the summer of 2011, Fabregas was indeed a Barcelona player and some Arsenal fans have never forgotten…
Reminder that Cesc Fabregas, former captain of Arsenal, only got the armband cos of Gallas shouting at players, and then, while captain, let his Spanish team mates put a Barca shirt on him, then abandoned us for Barca.
— Mansoor Ahmad (@Mansoor98A) May 31, 2019