Wilfried Zaha has been a long-term target of Arsenal and the Ivorian has now revealed that he even held talks with the then Arsenal manager, Unai Emery in the summer of 2019.
A childhood Arsenal fan, Zaha has been on the radar of the Gunners for some time now and 2019 was a year that he could have finally sealed his move to the Emirates.
The Gunners wanted a winger, and Emery recommended him to the club as the exact sort of player that he wanted.
The Gunners had other alternatives, and as they struggled to reach an agreement with Crystal Palace for Zaha, they eventually signed Nicolas Pepe from Lille, in a record-breaking transfer.
Zaha said that his conversation with Emery was pretty straightforward because the Spanish manager was already aware of his talents and simply told him that he would love to have him at the Emirates.
The winger also said that he would love to join the Gunners, but accepted that they chose Pepe over him.
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.”