Arsenal could have signed Manchester United youngster Wilfried Zaha. The 20-year-old was reportedly offered to the Gunners in January but Arsene Wenger turned down the proposal and the former Crystal Palace winger completed terms with the eventual Premier League champions.
The Ivory Coast-born winger signed a five-and-a-half year deal with United in the mid-season window but remained on loan at Selhurst Park for the remainder of the season. However, former Palace chairman Ron Noades told the Express he tried to engineer a move to the north London side instead of Old Trafford.
"When Steve Parish sold Zaha I was mildly involved in it as I tried to get Arsenal to buy him, but they were not interested. I spoke to David Dein as I did not want Zaha to go to Manchester United, I wanted him to stay in London. I just thought he was an exciting talent," Noades explained.
The youngster had an excellent 2012/13 season in the Championship, scoring six goals in 43 games, including one in the final play-off fixture against Watford, to seal Premier League promotion.
Meanwhile, ahead of meeting up with his future club team mates, Zaha spoke on the poor performance of the England U21 side at the European Championships in Israel. Stuart Pearce's England were drawn alongside Italy, Norway and the hosts... and lost all three games.
The disappointment of an uninspiring group stage exit, while not boding well for either Pearce's job or England's chances at the 2014 FIFA World Cup and beyond, led to the coach criticising his players. However, Zaha believes otherwise.
"It's not that no one didn't try hard enough. It's maybe we weren't used to playing in tournament games under so much pressure. Every time we pull on the shirt, we try hard. I can't really blame my performances on a long season. When I play, I just give it my all, 100 per cent. I had a little niggle but just ran through it," Zaha said.
"It never really made any difference. If the gaffer thinks there's a couple of players who could have improved the team, there's nothing we can do about it, we can just try our hardest," he added.