Wilfried Zaha has admitted that he was forced to change roommates on international duty because his Ivory Coast teammate Nicolas Pepe snored so loudly he sounded like a motorbike. The Crystal Palace attacker said this in an interview with the On The Judy podcast via Talksport.
The two players have known each other for years and are understood to have a good relationship. Zaha, however, is not a fan of the former Lille attacker’s bedroom habits.
On his experience as Pepe’s roommate, Zaha said:
“Oh my days. Nicolas Pepe.”
“Nicolas Pepe, I asked to leave the room. I went and asked to leave the room because he sounded like a motorbike.”
“It was mad. Bro, it was crazy. I was like no, I can’t. I had to go out. I remember, these were the first times as well when I went and I was with Nico yeah.”
“They let me move and share rooms with Kalou, Salomon Kalou. And he was like, ‘bro, I know. I moved myself’.”
Arsenal signed Pepe for a club record £72 million from Lille in the summer of 2019. They chose to sign the 25-year-old attacker over boyhood Arsenal fan Wilfried Zaha.
Zaha was keen on a move to North London and has admitted that he held talks with then-Arsenal boss Unai Emery. The Spaniard told the 28-year-old he had seen him play and was a big fan. Emery felt that the former Manchester United winger would be a significant asset for the Gunners and help them get back into the Champions League.
The Arsenal hierarchy overruled Emery and decided to sign Pepe. It is understood that this decision was made because Pepe was three years younger than Zaha.
Another reported reason is that the Gunners were able to negotiate a much more affordable agreement with Lille which would see them pay his transfer fee over five years. Crystal Palace wanted to receive in excess of £80 million in a lump sum which was not possible for the North London club.
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