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This missed 2019 summer target showed a glimpse of what Arsenal could be missing - Opinion

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The one that got away: Arsenal and Wilfried Zaha

To suggest Arsenal were suffering buyer’s remorse after summer target Wilfried Zaha left the Emirates Stadium with a point last Sunday with Crystal Palace may be a slight overstatement.

This article forms part of our The Ones That Got Away feature series, which is where Football Transfer Tavern take a look back at players linked with moves in the past, and see how they would have made an impact had they signed for the interested side.

In fairness to Pepe, however, Zaha’s compatriot received a match rating from WhoScored (7.86) that was only topped by goalscorers Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Luka Milivojevic and Jordan Ayew.

Having sealed a deal for Pepe, who was reportedly a target for the likes of Liverpool and Napoli, the Gunners may have been forgiven for thinking they had stolen a march on the European heavyweights – though the winger’s slow start at the Emirates (which has garnered just three goals so far) may give the club a sense of regret after witnessing Zaha’s input for Roy Hodgson’s team recently.

In contrast, eventual £72m record signing Nicolas Pepe had failed to help his team towards a victory that was controversially taken from their grasp thanks to video technology.

Aside from winning the penalty, Zaha had the highest passing accuracy rate of anyone on the pitch with 91.3%, and made himself a nuisance by being fouled four times, which included a rather dramatic pull-down from Gunners midfielder Matteo Guendouzi late on.
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