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Unai Emery claims he wanted Premier League star to sign for Arsenal

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Arsenal

Unai Emery claims he wanted Premier League star to sign for Arsenal

Unai Emery has told Football London that he would have preferred Arsenal to sign Wilfried Zaha over Nicolas Pepe during his time in charge of the Gunners.

Arsenal were linked with a move for the Crystal Palace performer but ended up parting with £72 million to sign Pepe from Lille.

The 25-year-old has struggled during his time at the Emirates Stadium, scoring 13 goals and registering 13 assists in 63 appearances.

(Photo; Shaun Botterill; Getty Images)

This season he has started just four Premier League games and had Emery got his way, the Ivorian wouldn’t have signed for Arsenal.

He told Football London: “When we played against Crystal Palace, Zaha showed he was a very good player.

“I also think Nicolas Pepe is a good player.

“When you make the decision you have to decide how easy the adaptation will be.

“I thought the adaptation was easier and faster for Zaha because he was playing in the Premier League and you didn’t know exactly how fast Pepe can adapt.

 

TBR View – Zaha could be one that got away for the Gunners

It seems highly unlikely that the dazzling winger will earn a move to Arsenal now.

The ship seems to have sailed and Mikel Arteta now seemingly has other options to call upon.

Zaha has scored eight goals and registered two assists for the Eagles this season and comes up against Arsenal tonight.

Crystal Palace v Leeds United - Premier League

(Photo; Glyn Kirk; Pool; Getty Images)

At 28 there is still a bit of time on his side but if he doesn’t move in the next couple of windows, he could see his career out with Palace.

Zaha earns £130,000-a-week at Palace and he might still represent a decent signing.

The Eagles have stood firm over his valuation, however, and the eyewatering sums are unlikely to attract Arsenal into a bid.

The Gunners faithful may ponder what might have been based on Emery’s claim.

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