Arsenal Sign Nicolas Pepe

Arsenal have just announced the signing of Nicolas Pepe. The Ivory Coast international became the club’s record signing on Thursday, joining the Gunners from Ligue 1 club Lille. The club photographer was on hand to see Nico put pen to paper. Nicolas Pepe will follow in some famous footsteps when he makes his first appearance for us. Our record signing will be the fourth Ivory Coast international to represent Arsenal, emulating Kolo Toure, Emmanuel Eboue and Gervinho. Toure was one of Arsene Wenger’s finest ever signings – a hugely popular figure who arrived as an unknown and became an Invincible – and Pepe has already asked him for advice.

Pepe hit 22 Ligue 1 goals last season as Lille finished second in the table behind Paris Saint-Germain. PSG coach Thomas Tuchel made his admiration for the Ivory Coast forward clear, with Liverpool, Bayern Munich and Manchester United among the other major clubs linked with Pepe. He becomes the Gunners’ third signing of the close season after Real Madrid midfielder¬†Dani Ceballos joined on loan¬†and¬†William Saliba chose Unai Emery’s side¬†over rivals Tottenham. However, defender Saliba¬†is set to stay¬†on loan in Ligue 1 with Saint-Etienne¬†for the 2019-20 season. Born in¬†Mantes-la-Jolie,¬†√éle-de-France, P√©p√© stared his career originally playing as a¬†Goalkeeper¬†for local side Solitaire Paris Est until he was 14 years old.

But he began his professional career playing as an outfield player with¬†Poitiers¬†in the¬†Championnat de France Amateur 2¬†(fifth tier) in 2012‚Äď13. He signed for¬†Angers¬†in 2013, and spent his first season with the reserves in the CFA 2.On 21 June 2017, P√©p√© signed a five-year deal with¬†Lille, for a maximum transfer fee of ‚ā¨10 million,[8]¬†after being signed by head coach¬†Marcelo Bielsa¬†who had scouted the player by watching footage of every¬†Ligue 1¬†game he had played in for¬†Angers, before scouting him in person. ¬†Upon signing for Arsenal, he was handed the number 19 shirt (which he had also work at Lille), after¬†Bernd Leno¬†took the number 1 shirt, following the retirement of¬†Petr ?ech.

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