Arsenal have made one of their biggest signings ever for a record deal of $87 million bringing in 24-year old Lille international football star from Ivory Coast, Nicolas Pepe to the Emirates Stadium.
The Gunners confirmed the club record deal for Pepe after signing a five-year contract that will see the Ivory Coast star dawn on a number 19 Arsenal shirt this season.
The race to get Nicolas Pepe has been a competitive one because big clubs such as Napoli, Liverpool, Inter Milan, Bayern Munich and PSG had been gunning for the Ivorian, but Unai Emery wasn’t ready to lose the fight just yet.
After losing Wilfried Zaha to Crystal Palace, Unai Emery was more than eager to add Pepe to his latest summer signings since a new winger was needed to boost his current squad. Arsenal has agreed to pay a whopping £72million for the 24-year-old to get their dream player against tough competition from the likes of Napoli.
This record signing makes Nicolas Pepe the most expensive African footballer of all time to join the English Premier League.
Pepe jetted into London on Tuesday and successfully passed the medical, as well as posing for pictures in his new club’s shirt and putting pen to paper on his contract. Arsenal will reportedly only pay £20m up front this summer, with the rest paid in installments over the next five years, while Pepe will earn in excess of £100,000-a-week.
Before coming to Arsenal, Pepe has enjoyed an awesome campaign with his previous club last season scoring 22 times with 11 assists in Ligue 1.
According to Pepe on Arsenal’s website: ‘Being here is very emotional because it has not been easy for me. I have come a long way and struggled a lot and so signing for this great club is a big reward. ‘It was my family and my agents [who encouraged me to make the move]. ‘We talked and thought a lot about it. It was at the time of the CAN [Africa Cup of Nations] as well, we thought a lot during, before and after the CAN. ‘It was important to make the right decision and I am convinced that Arsenal is the right choice.’
Apart from Pepe’s record signing, Arsenal has beefed up its ranks during this summer’s transfer window bringing in the likes of Gabriel Martinelli, William Saliba – who returns to Saint Etienne for the 2019/20 season – and Dani Ceballos on loan. The Gunners are also believed to be looking to offload Shkodran Mustafi and Laurent Koscielny and want to sign a replacement centre-back, as well as Celtic left-back Kieran Tierney, before the window closes.
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