According to renowned BBC journalist, David Ornstein, Arsenal have agreed a deal in principle to sign Nicolas Pepe from LOSC Lille. The Ligue 1 outfit are ready to sanction the sale of their attacking superstar for €80 million – a fee that will be paid in instalments over the course of five years. Pepe will sign a five-year deal at the club, making him their fourth signing of the summer.
A massive boost for Emery
Pepe’s likely arrival at Arsenal will come as a sigh of relief for manager Unai Emery. The Spaniard was devoid of reliable options in the wide-attacking department going into this new season.
The current options at his disposal include Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who has struggled with both form and injuries during his time at North London. He also has Alex Iwobi and Ainsley Maitland-Niles, with the latter featuring as a right wing-back for the most part of last season.
Reiss Nelson was coming on the back of a productive season at Hoffenheim. But, his lack of experience in the Premier League laid doubts over his credibility of performing in the top-flight.
Pepe could be the final piece in the jigsaw
Despite an overall disappointing campaign last season, Arsenal fans were delighted with the performances of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette. The duo combined really well and scored the majority of the Gunners’ goals. As for Mesut Ozil, he too started to show some form during the final phase of last season.
Emery was keen to offload the former German international earlier this summer. But, it seems Ozil is likely to stay at the Emirates. And just to put the cherry on top, Arsenal have recently secured the services of Dani Ceballos in a season-long loan deal from Real Madrid.
The Spaniard starred for his country in the recently concluded European U21 Championships, and his presence will surely rev up Arsenal’s work-rate in the final third. As for Pepe, he could become much more lethal in attack, should he manage to gel with these attacking superstars.
Can Pepe answer Emery’s prayers?
After a turbulent campaign that saw Arsenal miss out on Champions League action this season, Emery will be keen to prove the doubters wrong. And Pepe, in that regard, could provide the ideal spark the team needed. His addition will also serve as a statement of intent in the transfer market.
Besides, the lack of Champions League football will assert significantly less pressure on the new signings, giving them much more time to settle into the fast-paced nature of English football. Therefore, Pepe is likely the man to answer not just Emery, but Arsenal’s prayers as the Gunners look to take the Premier League by storm.
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