Former Arsenal manager, Unai Emery, has revealed the player he expected Arsenal to buy instead of Nicolas Pepe. He noted that he wanted the club to sign Wilfried Zaha from Crystal Palace.
Recall tha the North London side signed Pepe in a £72million record breaking move from Lille last summer.
The Ivorian winger has, however failed to match up to his expectation has he scored just one goal from the penalty spot in his first 12 Premier League appearances, with the last of those coming in Emery’s final game against Southampton.
He, however, improved when Mikel Arteta took over from Emery and has scored three goals since the Spaniard took charge.
Emery says he was always worried the 24-year-old would take time to adapt.
“We signed Pepe. He’s a good player but we didn’t know his character and he needs time, patience,” Emery told The Guardian.
“I favoured someone who knew the league and wouldn’t need to adapt. Zaha won games on his own: Tottenham, Manchester City, us. Incredible performances.”
“I told them this is the player I know and want.”
” I met Zaha and he wanted to come.”
“The club decided Pepe was one for the future.”
” I said: Yes, but we need to win now and this lad wins games.”
” He beat us on his own.”