Should Arsenal have bought Zaha instead of Pepe?

It was well-known throughout the summer transfer window that Wilfreid Zaha was desperate to join Arsenal after it was made known that we had made an opening offer, but despite Zaha’s pleas the Gunners refused to up their offer, but instead paid a hell of a lot more for Nicholas Pepe from Lille.

Pepe had a fantastic last campaign in France but it is obviously taking him a while to settle in London and the Premier League (in direct contrast to the young Martinelli who came from Brazil), and despite his two excellent free-kicks the other night, has only scored once in the EPL, and that was from a penalti.

But Zaha also has had a lacklustre start to the season at Palace, but I think that may well have something to do with him not getting his desired move to the Gunners in the summer. Roy Hodgson has been talking about the Arsenal bid ahead of tomorrow’s big game at the Emirates. When asked if a deal was close in the Daily Mail, he replied: ‘Not very close at all as far as I know,’

‘I believe that the money that was offered which was widely reported was reasonably accurate, and of course that was way below our valuation.’

‘Time passed, so maybe their situation changed.

‘Maybe when they made the offer for Wilf their situation was x, and then possibly things happened during a period of time and their situation changed and maybe more money became available. I have no idea. I can’t speak for Arsenal, for their intentions.

‘If you really wanted to know how serious, how anxious they were to sign one of our players, they will have to answer the question.

‘But as far as Wilf is concerned, I think he needs to make certain that he gives his very best and shows off his talents every time he plays, because there are lots of teams out there looking for good players, and if he wants to attract one of those clubs, he needs to perform at the very highest level.

‘I don’t think the fact it is Arsenal will change his performance enormously – I would hope not, because I’m expecting his performance to be very good against all the teams we play.’

So, maybe Zaha will be hurting over his treatment from Arsenal, but the fact is that if we paid 72m for Pepe, we surely could have gone that high for Zaha? And maybe would have got him.

So what is the verdict? Did we go for the wrong man?


  1. i think we should be happy with what we have because I know he will come good, I know how long it took Zaha to gel in the premier League, it took him seasons but we are still counting months for Pepe, it won’t take Pepe as long time has Zaha used before I lights the premier League up

  2. Palace wanted more than the 72M we paid for Pepe and wanted cash upfront,also they didn’t really need the money after getting 50M from man utd.

  3. Arsenal should have bought both

    Zaha possesses an incredible dribbling skill and he knows EPL very well, but Pepe is younger and Arsenal didn’t have a left-footed RW

    As what the previous article said, I don’t think Zaha would come unless Aubameyang or Lacazette is sold

    We shouldn’t regret our past decision and we should keep moving forward, because we still have many right-footed attackers that can play as LW

  4. I would actually consider selling Lacazette at the end of the season. Don’t get me wrong he’s a top quality cf however replacing him with Zaha and playing Abameyang as cf we would be far more deadly. Front 3 of Zaha Abameyang Pepe with Saka Martinelli and Nelson in reserve allows the youth plenty of chances without the pressure.

    1. Partially agree. But selling Aubameyang who will be 31 next summer would make more sense than Lacazette who is two years younger and can help us longer. Laca + Martinelli would be a good option plus Nketiah for cup games.

      But buying Zaha is financially not smart. He will be 27 in 2 weeks and there’s not much resale value. Which would be okay if Palace sell him for 50 M, but they will certainly hope for at least 70.

      It would be a waste of resources considering we desperately need a backup RB, a top DM, and a creative midfielder – all of those are needed more than a winger now that Saka is showing promise and Martinelli can also play there brilliantly if needed.

  5. Let’s wait till next January transfer window to see who will be that top class player who Arsenal will sign. But I suspect the new January import who Arsenal will import will not be a centreback signing but probably a senior left winger player in the mould of Everton Soares who Arsenal for financial reason could not import during the last summer transfer window even if they had wanted to sign him to replace Iwobi who they sold to Everton FC.

    I think the Arsenal left wing as it’s currently being manned by Saka in the team is not productive enough for Arsenals in the PL matches as it should be. And Arsenal will need to up the tempo in that department of their 1st team squad for the 2nd half of the season’s campaign. So that for this singular reason the club will not miss out on one of the top-four places that they chasing.

    But notwithstanding, Saka, Martinelli and Smith-Rowe who are natural left wingers can continue to mann the left wing position for Arsenal in all competitions with Saka being preferred by Emery to start in the PL ahead of Martinelli and Rowe who are preferred to start in the Cup games. But if any of the duo of Saka and Martinelli display top class performances consistently while playing in the PL and scoring goals and giving assist in their numbers, Arsenal may after all not need to sign a top class left winger in January any more. And if they succeeded in offloading Ozil in January, they could use part of the money received from his sales to make Dani Ceballos loan deal to Arsenal from Real Madrid permanent.

    In the main time, Arsenal who have already signed Williams Saliba against next season should exercise patience to not sign a new centreback in January but save in an emergency case that compels them to sign one.

  6. We couldn’t afford Wilf because the money needed to be upfront, and besides it’s not like Wilf has ever hit the numbers Pepe did. He’s a stronger player, he has PL experience, both are good dribblers, Wilf is not a pass master he’s all about his dribbling, am hoping Arsenal will finetune Pepe and he gets his confidence back and his shooting ability. Another thing, free kick specialists are a valuable commodity, and so far all Pepe’s goals are set-pieces, he’s also got some assists. Give him time, really top players couldn’t always adapt to this league and England, so I believe Emery was right in saying patience is needed for adapting players. AFC fans hate that word I know, patience, but without it I think a lot of top talent would’ve been written off too soon.

  7. Should we have bought zaha over Pepe? Zaha is not worth 80mil, he failed at utd, he isn’t a great finisher, he doesn’t score lots of goals and we couldn’t afford the initial payment. Pepe is ours and we have things to look forward too with him. Lets give him time and support.

    1. Wilf wasn’t the first player to fail at Utd and he certainly won’t be the last!
      Lets face it, Palace didn’t want to lose him, so overpriced him. I’m a big fan & even I said he wasn’t worth 80m!
      Looking forward to tomorrow, to see him face Pepe.. who will prevail??

  8. ZAHA IS MAINLY A SHOW PONY, FULL OF TRICKS, CONSTANT TWISTS AND TURNS AND WERE HE YOUNGER AND FAR LESS MONEY THAN PALACE WANTED, MIGHT WELL HAVE BEEN WORTH BUYING. He does not score much , nor make that many assists. I accept that Palace don’t score many goals. But since Zaha is a regular, my logical brain tells me that one main reason may just be Zaha himself. Facts are always paramount when analising players and always above blind unevidenced faith. All evidence shows that for anywhere near £70 mill and already nearly 27, we were right to turn down ZAHA. Pepe is 21 and clearly talented. He needs to bulk up a lot and be more determined. Perhaps he should watch and note the ferocity of desire of the admirable Guendouzi and Martinelli.

    1. If Pepe ‘bulks up’, he will lose his speed.
      He’s actually much stronger than he looks, it’s just that he’s often going for fouls when in the Prem they’re not given. He’ll be alright after he adjusts and let’s not forget he was busy all summer playing in African cup of nations so this year he might be a bit fatigued for a while + almost no preseason.

      The question is will he have a manager whose tactics would harness his best attributes? Time will tell.

  9. We could go for Pepe as high as 72 mil, because his wage is less and we got good settlement terms. With Palace it would be a bit more tricky and than aboUT 25 mil extra for Zaha.

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