Arsenal have a knack of finding gems among the various French football clubs, playing in different divisions of the French football leagues. Be it Samir Nasri, Mathieu Flamini, Gael Clichy, Laurent Koscielny, Olivier Giroud, Alexandre Lacazette, or the most recent transfer of Matteo Guendouzi, the Gunners have had a special connection with France regarding scouting young talents and their transfer policy.
Thus, it was only a matter of time that the North London club would join the race to sign one of the most promising young forwards of Ligue 1, Nicolas Pepe, who is earning rave reviews in France, thanks to his brilliant performances.
Arsenal have been linked with Nicolas Pepe lately, check out the two penalties he won this weekend against Marseille.
He’s the kind of game changer we could do with. pic.twitter.com/TEFeu5VLqg
— Dan Critchlow (@afcDW) October 2, 2018
According to reports in Mirror, the Gunners are eyeing a move for the 23-year-old Ivory Coast international, who has already scored five goals in just eight appearances for Lille LOSC this season, and is one of the main reasons behind Lille’s second position in Ligue 1, just behind PSG. But Arsenal are not the only club who are chasing the £30 million-rated forward. They face stiff competition from clubs within, as well as outside England.
Merseyside club Everton have reportedly scouted the forward, who primarily plays as a right-winger, and watched him play vs Amiens, where Pepe scored a hat-trick. La Liga clubs Barcelona and Sevilla are also tracking the Ivory Coast international, while fellow French rivals Lyon had a bid of £26 million rejected by Lille at the end of the summer transfer window.
Last season, although Lille did not have a great season and stood 17th in the league, Pepe had a fine season, scoring 13 goals and assisting 4 in 36 appearances in Ligue 1 last season. It was his first season with Lille, having signed from fellow Ligue 1 club Angers for around £8 million.
This season, Pepe has started in all the 8 league games for the French side, scoring 5 goals and assisting 3, with Lille second so far in the league, eight points behind the runaway leaders PSG, who have won all their league matches so far.
9 – Only Neymar & Messi (9 each) have been involved in more goals than Nicolas Pépé (8 – 5 goals, 3 assists) in the top 5 leagues this season. TNT. pic.twitter.com/6SXXy8rfo5
— OptaJean ⭐⭐ (@OptaJean) September 30, 2018
In my opinion, Arsenal should act quick and secure the signature of Nicolas Pepe. With so many clubs after the young attacker, the Gunners should not hesitate to pay £30 million for him, and bring him to Emirates as soon as possible. He could solve the issues of right-wing for the Gunners for a long time in the future and could serve as a wonderful investment for the future.