Sunday, January 29, 2023

Liverpool Steps Up The Chase For This 23 Goals Ligue 1 Winger: What Will He Bring To Anfield?

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

According to a recent report by France Football (via the Liverpool Echo), Liverpool have stepped up their pursuit of LOSC Lille winger Nicolas Pepe during the summer transfer period. The same source has revealed that Inter Milan have already tabled a €60m offer for the French winger with Lille ready to play the waiting game as they expect a bidding war in this offseason.

Nicolas Pepe’s Incredible Rise To The Top Of French Football

Pepe has enjoyed the best year of his young career at Lille after putting in a string of majestic performances during the recently concluded Ligue 1 campaign. The former Poitiers FC prospect has featured in 41 matches for Christophe Galtier’s team this term, registering 23 goals while providing 12 assists across all competitions.

The 24-year-old has managed to add a lot of goals and assists to his game this season. He has also found the back of the net four times in 11 international matches for Ivory Coast and is expected to play a significant role for his country in the coming years.

Pepe is primarily a right-sided winger but is also capable of leading the line as a centre-forward if needed. His versatility and productivity are two main reasons why so many elite clubs like Liverpool and Inter are ready to battle it out for his services this summer.

What Will The Ivory Coast Winger Bring To Merseyside?

Pepe boasts blistering pace and acceleration, which enables him to dribble with the ball down the wide areas. His dangerous runs from midfield will often create a lot of problems for the opposing defenders. The Ligue 1 whizkid has transformed himself into an accomplished finisher from the right flank. He is also unselfish and can set up his teammates when they are in space in the final third.

Pepe has shown enough maturity at the age of 24 to merit a career-defining move to one of the bigger clubs in Europe. His incredible contributions in the offensive end of the pitch have helped Lille claim an impressive second-place finish in the French top-flight. If the Ligue 1 wide man can replicate the same numbers from his time at the Stade Pierre Mauroy in his next destination, then he will be a target well worth pursuing.

The potential addition of Pepe will undoubtedly improve Liverpool’s squad depth at Anfield. However, the Ivory Coast speedster will struggle to secure regular playing minutes as the likes of Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah are currently the preferred choice for Klopp to line up every week.

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