Crystal Palace talisman Wilfred Zaha has opened up on Arsenal’s interest to signed him last summer.
The North London Club came closer to get Zaha to Emirate stadium, but 40million bid by the Gunners was turned down by Palaces.
The 27-year who was a former Arsenal tactician Emery transfer list last Season has admitted is Arsenal Fan Happy when the Gunners tried to sign him. But due to Arsenal’s inability to meet the Palaces’ price, they moved for Nicholas Pepe from Lille.
But according to Ivorian international, “It was nice. Supporting them and having them waiting for you at the same time, leaving you thinking: ‘This is amazing. But things never worked out so you just have to move on as quick as possible. I was thinking this may happen. But my whole family was watching and it just didn’t work out.” He told Rio Ferdinand’s Locker Room show on Youtube.
Zaha, who is a product of Crystal Palace academy played 34 matches and scored 10 goals in 2018-1019 season, has admitted he could still leave Crystal Palace because he is desperate to win trophies.
The Ivorian winger also discloses that; he came closer to playing for the English National team but lack of playing time when he was with the Junior national side of the Three Lion and Didier Drogba phone call also persuaded him to switched his nationality to Ivory Coast.
“I feel like I wasn’t given a fair shot at the first team. I went through the age groups but then didn’t get a chance” said Zaha.
“Then I spoke to Drogba and he explained to me what it felt like to play for the Ivory Coast.
“For one thing, it’s Drogba calling you and explained all these things to me. When they came to me, I turned them down the first time because I wanted to play for England at that time.
“But they were still on my case even though I have turned them down before. At the same time, despite my performances, I still wasn’t getting picked for England.
Wilfred Zaha has made it clear to Crystal Palace that he wants to leave end of the season…. Where exactly should he go? pic.twitter.com/SYgDcvFIry— Cellular ❁ (@robzinterris) May 8, 2020
“So it was a straight decision after. Then Ivory Coast asked me again and it was a straight decision and I’m glad that I did it.I love the llove the country has shown me. When we reached the AFCON quarter-finals, it was insane and it was like we had won it. When you play over there, you are treated like a king.”
Zaha made his Ivory Coast debut against Sweden in a friendly in Abu Dhabi and was part of 2017 African Cup of Nation squad. He also represents Ivory Coast in 2019 AFCON in Egypt which he scored twice for them to get to the quarter-final.