Arsenal manager, Mikel Arteta has said that Wilfried Zaha as an ‘exceptional’ player in response to the Crystal Palace star’s recent revelation that he very nearly joined Arsenal when Unai Emery was in charge of the club.
Zaha held talks with Arsenal in the summer of 2019 but the club opted to sign Nicolas Pepe in a club-record £72million deal from Lille.
Pepe has struggled to live up to his price tag while Zaha has continued to excel, with the Palace winger suggesting it was a ‘no-brainer’ for the Gunners to sign him over his Ivorian teammate.
While Arteta was keen to avoid reigniting speculation linking Arsenal with Zaha, he did concede that the winger – who takes on the Gunners on Thursday – is an excellent player.
Asked about Zaha’s comments, Arteta replied: “Undoubtedly he’s a player who has done exceptionally well in the Premier League.
“He has created a big name because what he’s been able to do, sometimes on his own with some individual actions, is what people highlight most of the time.
“He is a player who plays for Palace at the moment, and that’s it.”