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Zaha looks back on failed Arsenal move after Gunners opted for Pepe

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Wilfried Zaha

Crystal Palace winger, Wilfred Zaha has opened up on his failed move to Arsenal after the Gunners dumped him for Nicolas Pepe.

The 28-year-old had a verbal agreement with the then coach Unai Emery in the summer of 2019 only to see the club settle on a £72million transfer for Zaha’s international teammate from Lille.

Reflecting on the failed move, Zaha told Jamie Carragher on The Greatest Games podcast: “I had a conversation with the manager.

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“He was just like, ‘we don’t need to go through much’. He’s seen me play, he knows I can change games at any time and stuff like that. It was like, ‘yeah, we’d love to have you’. And I was just like, ‘I’d love to come’.

“The conversation was rather straightforward because I’ve played against him when he’s managed Arsenal, he’s seen what I can do, he’s seen my work-rate, what I can add to the team.

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“Obviously, it was up to the club who they chose, and obviously they chose Pepe over me.”

“I just think if there’s a player who plays in the Premier League who you see week in, week out, and you know what he does… I feel like it’s a no-brainer.

“The other leagues, I feel like they are totally different, in the Prem there are no easy games whatsoever. Every team is going to give you a run for your money. There’s no game where you’re going to go, ‘yeah, we’re going to win 5-0’.

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“That’s my thought… I feel like when players come from abroad, I don’t know, they just have that edge with clubs, it’s just like [they say], ‘yeah, I may want him a bit more because he’s from there’.”





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