- The Basque tactician says that Wilfried Zaha was on the verge of a move to the Emirates last summer.
- The Crystal Palace ace wanted to join the Gunners but the club decided to buy Nicolas Pepe instead.
- Emery thinks that while the Ivorian is a good prospect for the future, not purchasing Zaha costed us good results this season.
"Pepe is a good player but he needs time," Unai Emery told the Daily Mail when discussing Arsenal's transfer policy during his time at the Emirates.
"When I was there he didn't give me the performances. I was in favour of someone coming who knew the English league, more than anything so that he wouldn't need a period of adaptation.
"I had a meeting with Zaha, the Palace player. He was the player I wanted because I could see that he won so many games on his own."
"I saw 20 Zaha games, some incredible performances and I told them that this is the player that I want for this team. I spoke to Zaha. I had been with him personally. And he wanted to come.
"But the club decided that Pepe was younger, he was one for the future. I said: yes, but we need to win now and this lad [Zaha] wins games. He did it to us!
"It's also true that he was an expensive player, and Crystal Palace didn't want to sell him."
Last summer, there were many rumours linking Zaha with a move to the Emirates and it really looked like we were getting him at some point.
However, the club decided to splash the cash on Nicolas Pepe, one of the most-wanted players in Europe at that time.
The Ivorian, however, has so far failed to justify his £72m price tag as many consider him a flop.
Meanwhile, Zaha reportedly remains on Arsenal's transfer wishlist but it is unlikely that Crystal Palace would want to sell one of their key players. It is even less likely that the Gunners will find the money needed to secure the move.
This is not the first time Unai Emery talks about reasons why he failed at Arsenal. Previously, he aimed a dig at Arsene Wenger saying that the club had been on a 'downward slope' and blamed fans for his sacking.
Do you think this is just another Emery excuse? Or do you think Arsenal should have bought Zaha instead of Pepe? Tell us in the comments or use the blogging platform!