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Speaking to Jamie Carragher on The Greatest Game podcast, Crystal Palace star Wilfried Zaha explained when and why he stopped supporting Arsenal.

The Ivorian has spoken out about the affection he had for the Gunners when he was a kid many times. Zaha, like most of us, fell in love with Arsene Wenger’s beautiful style of football a couple of decades ago, but one transfer changed everything.

The Palace man claimed that he stopped supporting Arsenal as soon as he joined Manchester United. The Ivorian had a rather disappointing spell at Old Trafford, but he claims that his mentality changed as soon as he stepped foot there.


A-League All-Stars v Manchester United
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He said: “I supported Arsenal when I was growing up, my whole family supported Arsenal actually. It’s only when I moved to Man United that I stopped supporting anyone in general.”

“I was still rooting for Arsenal (when he was a first-team player at Crystal Palace). When I went to Man United, I feel like it’s a whole different mindset over there because you’re competing against these teams now so you can’t be much of a fanboy like you were before.”

“So yeah, that’s when my mentality changed.”

Crystal Palace v Leicester City - Premier League
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Gooner Zaha almost joined Arsenal in 2019

Unai Emery was very keen on signing the Ivorian 18 months ago. Arsenal were in talks to sign him and Zaha himself was keen. However, Palace’s £80 million valuation (Daily Mail) proved to be a bit too much for us.

Arsenal signed Nicolas Pepe instead for a club-record fee and he, like Zaha, has struggled with consistency.

One can only wonder how different things would have been if Zaha had made his move to the Emirates. Maybe becoming a Gooner again can help his cause? Probably not, but it’s not too bad being an Arsenal fan, is it?

Photo by James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images

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