Unai Emery has revealed via the Guardian that he wanted Wilfried Zaha and not Nicolas Pepe, but the club ignored his preference and signed the winger from Lille.
I think the coach’s choice or preference should never be overruled by the club because that shows that you don’t trust the manager’s judgement.
However, looking at how both players have faired this season, I don’t think Zaha has proven to be a better player.
One of Emery’s arguments is that Zaha knows the Premier League, and he has single-handedly won games for Crystal Palace on many occasions.
With that being said, Zaha should have had a better season than Pepe and the fact that Zaha is at an age when a player is considered in the prime of his career, he should have shown Pepe how it is done this season.
But their stats tell a different story. Pepe has widely been regarded as a flop this campaign, yet the Ivorian has had a better season than Zaha.
Zaha has played 29 league games for the Eagles this season, he has just three goals and five assists.
Pepe has played 24 league games for Arsenal and the winger has chipped in with four goals and six assists.
In all competitions, Zaha has three goals and five assists from 30 games, while Pepe has six goals and eight assists in 32 competitive games.
Zaha is one of the most talented players in the Premier League, but Pepe deserves some credit for his contribution in a debut campaign and Unai Emery has to reconsider who he thinks is better suited for the competition.
An article from Jacob B