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Arsenal boss Emery: Why Pepe better choice than Zaha

Arsenal boss Unai Emery says they were right to choose Nicolas Pepe instead of Ivory Coast team-mate Wilfried Zaha over the summer.

The Gunners smashed their transfer record to acquire Pepe from Lille in a £72m deal after they were unwilling to meet Crystal Palace's asking price for Zaha.

"We chose to sign Pepe even though Zaha is a very good player," said the Spaniard.

“We signed Pepe not for two months, six months, one or two years but for the process. And the process is coming together little by little.

“Nicolas will be more confident after Thursday. This club follows a lot of players all around the world, because we have very good scouts. We are very happy with Pepe.

“We need patience and to be calm with him, help him and protect him because he can think he is playing under pressure."

Although Zaha is yet to score for Palace this season, Emery knows his players will have to keep an on the winger when Arsenal host Roy Hodgson's side on Sunday.

The Gunners boss added: “He is a very good player and he has been the difference in a lot of matches against us.

“But we have players who can stop him and impose our capacity, our organisation on them.

"For sure he is very motivated - but our challenge is how we can stop him and use our own quality."

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Paul Vegas

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