According to a recent report by the Express, Lille forward Nicolas Pepe is prepared to make a move away from Stade Pierre-Mauroy amidst interest from Arsenal. In a recent interview with French news outlet Le Voix du Nord, the Ivory Coast prospect shed some light on his future and said, “For me, that’s for sure. As the president has already said, my desire is to finish the season at Lille.
“I am under contract until 2022. My idea is to end this season in Lille and then, why not, leave for somewhere in Europe. It would be beautiful.”
His recent words would be music to Unai Emery’s ears as he could potentially try and snap up the Ligue 1 prospect at the end of this campaign. The Ivory Coast international has been one of the best young players in the French top-flight this season after he put in a number of dazzling displays for the Ligue 1 outfit over the past few months.
Pepe has featured in 20 matches for Lille this term, finding the back of the net on 12 occasions while creating seven assists across all competitions.
The Mantes-la-Jolie forward has blistering pace in his locker and is a very capable dribbler with the ball which helps him get the better of his marker in the final third of the pitch. The ex-Angers sensation has a habit of scoring and creating important goals from the wide areas as evidenced by his excellent record so far this season.
Pepe has been an integral member of the Lille squad during this campaign, and his incredible contributions on the pitch have helped them climb to the second spot of the league standings.
The potential addition of the Ivory Coast winger will undoubtedly bolster Emery’s attacking options at the Emirates Stadium. Arsenal have already got some talented wide men in their ranks such as Alex Iwobi, Danny Welbeck, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Ainsley Maitland-Niles. However, except for Iwobi, all of them are makeshift wingers so Pepe’s acquisition will add another natural winger to Emery’s squad.
The fact that the Lille prospect is willing to move in the summer will be a big boost for Arsenal’s chances of landing the player. It could turn out to be a shrewd signing in the future, but for now, the Gunners are better off concentrating on a top 4 finish as UEFA Champions League football will significantly help them fend off stiff competition from other clubs in pursuit of their primary targets.