Nicolas Pepe: Arsenal sign Lille winger for club record fee

Ross Houston
August 2, 2019

The young Portuguese signed a five-year contract with Serie A outfit AC Milan, with a reported transfer fee of 35 million euros.

"Of course, these are the players who sprang to mind because I used to watch them when I was at Lille", he said.

Pepe, who will wear the No 19 shirt at Arsenal, made 41 appearances for Lille last season and scored an impressive 23 times and registered 12 assists.

"Nicolas is a highly-rated and talented winger who was wanted by numerous top teams in Europe", said Unai Emery.

Pepe is Arsenal's fourth signing of this summer window.

"I have come a long way and struggled a lot and so signing for this great club is a big reward".

Upon his unveiling, the 24-year-old expressed his delight at the completion of the transfer saying (h/t BBC): "Being here is very emotional".

"He will add pace, power and creativity, with the aim of bringing more goals to our team".

Striker Gabriel Martinelli, 18, joined earlier in the window before a season-long loan deal for Real Madrid midfielder Ceballos was announced last week.

But an interview from 2017 has started to make the rounds following his arrival at the Emirates, with Pepe naming Arsenal rivals Chelsea as a dream move for him.

Arsenal played a pre-season friendly against Angers on Wednesday evening, claiming a 4-3 penalty shootout victory after a 1-1 draw.

It is believed a deal for Celtic full-back Kieran Tierney remains possible after the Scottish champions rejected Arsenal's first two bids, while the futures of centre-back pairing Laurent Koscielny and Shkodran Mustafi remain uncertain.

Zaha is a good player for most Premier League sides, but he's not worth a price tag of £60 million - or more, which could be the case if Palace are unwilling to sell him.

It was inevitable that he would move on after such a stellar year and several of Europe's heavyweights circled, but Arsenal won the race for his signature.

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