Crystal Palace forward Wilfried Zaha has opened up over his failed transfer to Arsenal in 2019.
The Gunners were on the verge of sealing a deal to sign Eagles talisman Zaha in the summer of 2019 but instead opted to spend a club-record £72million on Nicolas Pepe.
Pepe joined the north London club on the back of scoring 22 Ligue 1 goals and providing eleven assists in the French top flight in 2018/19, but has so far failed to live up to expectations in his 18 months at the club.
There have been fleeting moments of quality, but just 13 goals in 62 appearances has been a disappointing return for the front man, who has struggled to cement a place in Mikel Arteta’s starting XI.
And Zaha has reflected on his disappointment on being snubbed for his fellow Ivorian forward.
He told Jamie Carragher’s The Greatest Game Podcast: “I had a conversation with the manager actually.
“[Unai] Emery was just like, ‘We don’t really need to go through much’. “He said he’d seen me play, he knows I can change games at any time and stuff like that.
“He was like, ‘Yeah we’d love to have you’ and I was just like, ‘Yeah I’d love to come’.
“The conversation was rather straightforward because I played against him when he was manager of Arsenal.
“He saw what I could do, saw my work-rate, and what I could add to the team.”
He added: “Obviously, it was up to the club who they chose.
“And they chose Pepe over me.”
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Zaha was not at his best last season but he has found his best form in recent months, hitting eight goals in 15 games this term.
Pepe, however, has once again struggled with just two goals in 11 appearances this campaign.