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'Zaha snub for Pepe a mistake for Arsenal' - Gunners slammed for overlooking Crystal Palace attacker

18:07 GMT+3 15/03/2022
Wilfried Zaha
The North Londoners have been told the Eagles winger would have been a better signing than his Ivorian counterpart

Ex-Crystal Palace manager Neil Warnock and former chairman Simon Jordan believe Arsenal made a mistake by choosing to sign Nicolas Pepe over Wilfried Zaha in the summer of 2019.

The Gunners, who were then coached by Unai Emery, were in the market for a winger and both players were available. However, the North London side went for Pepe, who was then playing for Lille.

In the last two seasons, Zaha has managed to score 20 Premier League goals and provided three assists for the Eagles while his Ivory Coast teammate has found the back of the net 11 times in the same period, and contributed two assists.

During his debut 2019/20 season, Pepe scored five goals and provided six assists and Zaha managed four goals and three assists. While the latter has flourished since then, the former has been inconsistent for Mikel Arteta's side.

Jordan believes Zaha can be as good as Manchester City attacker Riyad Mahrez, it is just that he has not featured for better sides.

"I think Wilfried Zaha had the ability to go on and be as good as Riyad Mahrez," the veteran administrator told TalkSport as quoted by The Boot Room.

"I think he is a good player. The reason why Zaha has not been as effective as other players is because he has not played in better sides.

"Arsenal preferred to pay £70m for Pepe on the drip than give £60m to Palace on the nail."

Warnock supported Jordan and went on to question the impact Pepe has had at Arsenal.

"That was a mistake on Arsenal's part. They should have bought Zaha," he suggested.

"They paid on the drip for Pepe and what did he do for Arsenal?"

On Monday during Palace's 0-0 draw with Manchester City, Zaha set a Premier League record by becoming the first player to win 730 fouls in the competition’s history.

He also managed 40 touches, 23 passes and a passing accuracy of 65.2% during the match.