Arsenal’s reasoning for choosing Nicolas Pepe over Wilfried Zaha during the summer transfer window has come to light.
The Gunners initially made Zaha their top transfer target, failing with a £40million bid for the Crystal Palace star.
However, in a surprising move, Arsenal ended up signing Pepe from Lille instead, beating the likes of Manchester United, Paris Saint-Germain and Napoli to the player’s signature.
And The Athletic claim Arsenal chose to sign Pepe over Zaha because they thought there was ‘greater value’ in the deal.
So far, neither player has flourished this season.
Zaha is yet to register a goal or assist for Palace since his failed move to north London.
The Ivory Coast international was determined to make the move to Arsenal, who he claimed was the club he supported as a boy.
But he failed to get his way and has done little at Palace to show the Gunners made the wrong transfer decision.
Pepe, though, is yet to subject to his new surroundings.
The Arsenal star toiled against Watford on Sunday as the Gunners squandered a 2-0 lead to draw 2-2 at Vicarage Road.
What will concern Arsenal fans the most is that Pepe barely linked up with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
He didn’t pass once to the Gabon international and supporters will no doubt be hoping he improves quickly.
Meanwhile, former Arsenal star Paul Merson believes Zaha is frustrated at Palace following his failed move to north London.
And he opened up on the forward’s struggles in his side’s 4-0 Premier League defeat to Tottenham on Saturday.
“You look at it and Zaha had one shot straight at the keeper,” Merson told Sky Sports.
“Every time he got the ball they fouled him. Every single time he got the ball they fouled him.
“It must be frustrating for him, playing at Palace and I don’t want to sound disrespectful, but he’s better than that, it seems like he has to do it all on his own.”
Arsenal and Pepe are next in action against Standard Liege on Thursday (8pm).
Haha, meanwhile, is expected to start for Palace against Wolves on Sunday (2pm).
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