Arsenal have signed LOSC Lille winger Nicolas Pepe for a club-record fee on a five-year contract.
Arsenal have confirmed the £72m signing of Pepe today, concluding a transfer saga that began all the way back in September 2018.
'Here we go!' 😉 pic.twitter.com/s9xrOzgGK0
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) August 1, 2019
Pepe is a 24-year-old left-footed right-winger who shone in Ligue 1 last season. The Ivory Coast international was only outscored by Kylian Mbappe domestically, netting 23 times and adding a further 12 assists, as well as winning six penalties for his team.
What’s more, the wide man addresses a specific deficit in Arsenal’s squad, when it comes to individual dribbling ability. Alex Iwobi’s 98 dribbles last season ranked him 19th in the league, whilst Pepe managed the second-most in Europe.
Despite the obvious quality Arsenal have in the centre-forward position, they lacked the same kind of exciting player out wide, particularly on the right-hand side. Pepe goes some way to addressing that problem.
Nicolas Pepe. Arsenal's number 19 pic.twitter.com/Zf7bxhWcBS
— Daily Cannon (@DailyCannon) August 1, 2019
According to reports, Arsenal will only pay £20m for Pepe upfront, followed by the remaining £52m over the next five years. He had his medical on Tuesday, and the club hope he’ll be available to face Newcastle United on the opening day of the Premier League season.