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What Arsenal hero said when asked whether he'd rather Pepe or Zaha joined this summer

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Arsenal would have been playing it safer by signing Zaha from Crystal Palace, instead of Pepe from Lille, according to Arsenal hero Winterburn.

Pepe doesn’t have Premier League experience, and so it’s difficult to know if he’ll deliver in the same way that Zaha has for Palace.

A number of stars have arrived in the Premier League but failed to adapt to the pace and quality of the football throughout the years.

But, Winterburn has told Arsenal fans that the Gunners have bought the “perfect” signing, and a very exciting player, in the Ivorian.

“Zaha would have been a safer signing than Pepe, as he is proven in the Premier League,” Winterburn told SportingBet.

“But I can only tell you who would have been the better signing come the end of the season.

“Pepe is not as well-known on these shores as Zaha, so it’s hard to know if he can produce similar results to what we have come to expect from Zaha at Crystal Palace.

“However, from the bits that we have seen of him, we know that Arsenal have a very exciting player on their hands. As a supporter, I would have liked Arsenal to have signed both players.”

Winterburn praised Unai Emery’s capture of Pepe, and was surprised that no other club tried to compete for his signature.

The Gunners have been looking for a fast winger for a number of years, he added, and Pepe perfectly fits the bill.

“Nicolas Pepe is the perfect signing for Arsenal, they have been desperate for a genuine wide man with pace to burn for a couple of seasons now and Pépé provides that threat,” said the Arsenal legend.

“He is lighting quick, carries the ball well, he is terrific with the ball at his feet and is willing to put a good shift in for the team.

“He will need to be given the chance to settle in to the way that Arsenal play, but he is going to be vital to the team.

“He will allow Arsenal to counter-attack a lot more quickly than they did last season and it will free Lacazette and Aubameyang to focus on what they do best – get in behind defenders and score goals.”

Pepe came off the bench to make his Premier League debut against Newcastle last weekend.

He could start for the Gunners in their first home game of the season on Saturday against Burnley (12.30pm).

For more news relating to Newcastle United, visit our sister site NUFC Live.
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