Arsenal have confirmed the signing of Nicolas Pepe from Lille for £72 million.
Arsenal have officially confirmed the capture of Nicolas Pepe from Lille for £72 million. The Ivorian, who signs for the Gunners for a club-record fee, has put pen to paper on a five-year deal, keeping him until 2024 at the Emirates Stadium.
Nicolas Pepe has today become our club-record signing!
🇨🇮 #PepeIsHere ⚡️
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) August 1, 2019
He becomes the fourth acquisition of the summer after William Saliba, Dani Ceballos and Gabriel Martinelli. The forward will #19 for the Gunners from this season.
The official statement read the following:
“Winger Nicolas Pepe has become our record signing after joining us from Ligue 1 club Lille.
The 24-year-old Ivory Coast international completed the paperwork on his move on Thursday. He will wear the No.19 shirt.
The deal is subject to the completion of regulatory processes.”
Head coach Unai Emery, who was keeping an eye on him for months, has expressed his delight over the signing of Pepe.
“Nicolas is a highly-rated and talented winger who was wanted by many of the top teams in Europe. Signing a top-class winger has been one of our key objectives in this transfer window and I’m delighted he’s joining.
“He will add pace, power and creativity, with the aim of bringing more goals to our team.” added Emery.
Upon signing for the club, Nicolas Pepe has expressed his delight joining the Gunners.
“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.”
He added that former Arsenal defender Kolo Toure gave him advice before joining the Gunners.
He said: “They are the major players from the Ivory Coast. We talk a lot about Gervinho, for example, who played for Lille and ended up at Arsenal so I am on the same path. They are definitely examples to us young Ivorians and I hope we will continue to follow these examples.”
“Yes, especially Kolo Toure, who was with us on the [national] squad as an assistant coach. He spoke to me a lot about the very high level, how he got to Arsenal and how you always have to work hard and really graft on a daily basis to try and get right to the very top.”