Arsenal are hopeful Nicolas Pepe can feature against Newcastle United on the opening day of the Premier League season, according to reports.
Goal echo reports from various other sources that Nicolas Pepe is in London to complete his medical and sign for Arsenal for a club-record fee of £72m. He’s agreeing to a five-year deal with the club, worth around £150,000-a-week.
Goal add some further good news though, claiming Arsenal are ‘hopeful’ Pepe will be fit enough to play some part against Newcastle United on the opening day of the season.
Pepe featured in the Africa Cup of Nations with Ivory Coast over the summer, disrupting his usual holiday from club football. It’s only been 19 days since the tournament ended for his country, so it appears too soon to rush him back.
On the other hand, the winger had a full month between the end of the league season and his first game with his country, so he’s already had some time for a mini-break. As a result, he should be returning to training very soon.
That’s good news for Arsenal. The sooner the £72m winger can be available on the pitch, the better, particularly with a number of tough fixtures coming up in August.
Pepe scored 23 goals and assisted 12 in 41 appearances for Lille last season, playing on the right-wing. Teaming up with the likes of Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Pepe will hope to make Arsenal’s attack a force to be reckoned with.