Arsenal have announced the signing of Ivorian winger Nicolas Pepe.
Pepe, 24, has signed a five-year deal at the Emirates after Lille and Arsenal agreed a record fee of approximately £70 million to be paid in instalments to fit Arsenal’s budget.
Arsenal get their winger: 5 things to know…
- It was well documented that the Gunners were interested in signing a winger this summer.
- Pepe’s international team-mate Wilfried Zaha became their no. 1 target after a stunning performance at the Emirates in April.
- However, his £70 million price-tag deterred the Arsenal hierarchy.
- Pepe impressed in Ligue 1 last season, scoring 22 and assisting 11.
- He had reportedly agreed to join Napoli before Arsenal swooped in.
Pepe will join William Saliba, Dani Ceballos and Gabriel Martinelli as Arsenal’s fourth signing this summer.
The Ivorian’s departure has been imminent for a while now. Lille chairman Gerard Lopez said back in April that it was ‘certain’ Pepe would leave as he was ‘now in a price range they cannot afford’.
There is no doubting that Pepe will become an important member of the Arsenal side, as the Gunners were often accused of lacking pace and dynamism during a 2018/19 campaign which saw them miss out on the Champions League by the skin of their teeth.
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Despite having a reported budget of just £45 million this summer, this deal has taken their spending to over £100 million.
“Nicolas is a highly-rated and talented winger who was wanted by many of the top teams in Europe,” Unai Emery told the club’s official website.
“Signing a top-class winger has been one of our key objectives in this transfer window and I’m delighted he’s joining.
“He will add pace, power and creativity, with the aim of bringing more goals to our team.”