Zaha reveals Arsenal talks; questions Gunners decision

Wilfried Zaha has revealed he held talks with former Arsenal boss Unai Emery over a move to the Emirates before they signed Nicolas Pepe.

Zaha has frequently been linked with a move away from Crystal Palace with Arsenal one of the teams consistently interested.

And never more so than 18 months ago, when the Palace winger was pushing for a move away from Selhurst Park to play European football.

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But despite Emery holding talks with Zaha at the time, the Gunners instead plumped for Pepe in a big-money deal.

And Zaha has explained how the situation played out on Jamie Carragher’s ‘The Greatest Game’ podcast (via Metro).

He said: “I had a conversation with the manager, actually.

“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.

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

Zaha claims he was overlooked because he was already playing in the Premier League.

“Yeah, 100 per cent,” he said when asked if players from foreign leagues are preferred.

“You’re seeing a player come from Brazil or another league, they’re always going to attract more attention. But 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’. That’s my thought.

“I totally understand what you mean. 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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