Arsenal Transfer Rumors: Gunners Must Not Give Up on Obtaining Wilfried Zaha

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistJanuary 11, 2013

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 17: Wilfried Zaha of Crystal Palace looks to get past Derby's Craig Bryson during the npower Championship match between Crystal Palace and Derby County at Selhurst Park on November 17, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images)
Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images

In the world of transfers, being behind in a race for a player does not necessarily mean being out of it. Arsenal should keep that in mind while attempting to acquire Wilfried Zaha.

John Cross of The Daily Mirror reported that Manchester United is the favorite to acquire the young player after offering Crystal Palace an impressive package:

Sir Alex Ferguson has blown Arsenal and Spurs out of the race for Wilfried Zaha with a £12million package. Manchester United boss Ferguson has pulled out all the stops to land the Crystal Palace and England youngster - and is even prepared to loan Zaha back to Palace.

Jamie Jackson of The Guardian agrees, but still maintains that Arsenal is still in the running:

Manchester United are the firm favourites to win a two-club race for Wilfried Zaha, with Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur having cooled their interest...Although Zaha is an out and out wide player, the expected signature of Theo Walcott, who has also played most of his career as a winger, on a fresh contract at Arsenal is not thought to affect the club's desire to buy Zaha. The Palace player has no preference over whether to join Arsenal or United.

This is important to keep in mind as the deal becomes clearer in the coming days.

Zaha is the type of player that Arsenal truly needs at this stage. He has not been able to score many goals this year—only five goals in 25 league starts—but he has loads of potential and the 20-year-old player has plenty of time to realize it.

Even with Theo Walcott, the Gunners need to make sure they are able to line up forwards that know how to put the ball in the back of the net.

Lukas Podolski and Santi Cazorla have both been solid in their first year with the club, but neither of them are long-term solutions. Zaha could be a future face of the organization.

He has already appeared for the English national team and will continue to get better with high-level experience.

Manchester United is also looking to build for the future with this purchase, as it is unlikely the young player sees the pitch too often this year. The club is likely to even allow him to stay with Crystal Palace through the remainder of the season.

This condition of loaning him to the former club would not be as ideal for Arsenal considering the immediate need, but management should still consider the option.

Arsenal is trying to get back to where it believes it belongs, which is at the top of the English Premier League table. It will not be able to do that until it gets the best players.

Watching a top talent get away and land at rival Manchester United would be too much to overcome.

If the Gunners are truly attempting to build a contender that can take home trophies, they need to get back into the bidding war for Wilfried Zaha and do what it takes to bring him to North London.