Premier league news Unai Emery explains why he told Arsenal to sign Wilfried Zaha over Nicolas Pepe Last spor news
MetiNews.Com - Former Arsenal manager Unai Emery has opened up on why he was so keen to bring Wilfried Zaha to the Emirates Stadium back in the summer of 2019
Breaking News ! Former Arsenal manager Unai Emery has revealed that he favoured a move for Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha over Nicolas Pepe in the summer of 2019 because the former Manchester United man would have adapted to his new surroundings easier. After finishing fifth in the Premier League in his first season in charge at the Emirates Stadium, Emery was keen to add a sense of trickery and a fresh turn of pace to his squad ahead of the 2019/20 campaign, highlighting a winger as a key target. Throughout that summer, the Gunners, who will be looking to post a fifth successive win in all competitions when they face Palace tomorrow evening, were heavily linked with moves for Zaha and Pepe. Video Loading Video Unavailable Click to play Tap to play The video will auto-play soon8Cancel Play now In the end, despite Emery's admiration for Zaha, the Gunners made the decision to land Pepe from French outfit Lille, signing the Ivory Coast international for a club-record fee of £72million. Despite the huge transfer fee, Pepe's first season in English football failed to live up to expectation, as the right-winger scored just eight times in 42 appearances. This season, Pepe, who has been heavily criticised by a number of Arsenal supporters at times, has once again failed to win over his doubters, netting just two Premier League goals in 11 outings. Though there is hope within the Arsenal camp that Pepe will start to produce the goods expected of him, he is showing no signs of doing just that at the moment. Read More Related Articles 'Baby Suarez!' - Arsenal fans go nuts after striker spotted in training Read More Related Articles Exclusive: Unai Emery on 'positive' Arsenal spell, Ozil issue and brilliant Bukayo Saka anecdote Now, just over a year on from his sacking at the Emirates Stadium, Emery has opened up on the tale that dominated Arsenal's 2019 summer transfer window, revealing that he showed a great amount of interest in Zaha, as well as detailing why he was keen to add him to the squad. "I usually want to sign first the players I know there," Emery exclusively told football.london. "When we played against Crystal Palace, Zaha showed he was a very good player. "I also think Nicolas Pepe is a very good player. When you make the decision you have to decide how easy the adaption will be of some players. Read More Related Articles Emiliano Buendia's Arsenal transfer and the state of play on Edu's plans to replace Mesut Ozil Read More Related Articles Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang explains reasons for poor form and makes Arsenal captaincy admission "I was thinking the adaption was easier for Zaha because he was playing in the Premier League and you didn’t know exactly how fast Nicolas Pepe can adapt to the Premier League because I know you can need some time to adapt. "I was thinking at this time that the adaption of Zaha was probably easier and faster than Pepe." Only last week, Zaha revealed that he has spoken to Emery about the prospect of joining Arsenal, but admitted that they opted to sign Pepe instead. "I had a conversation with the manager. [Unai] Emery was just like, 'We don't really need to go through much'," Zaha told the Greatest Game Podcast.
. "He was like, 'Yeah we'd love to have you' and I was just like, 'Yeah I'd love to come'.
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"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. "Obviously, it was up to the club who they chose and they chose Pepe over me." Looking back, Zaha, given his Premier League experience, may have been a better addition for the Gunners, with Pepe having struggled to adapt to life in England. But as outlined above, the club still has hopes that Pepe can soon start to produce the qualities expected of him, especially when you take into account that he still has age on his side.
Source = MetiNews.Com