Who is Pepe? No, we’re not talking about the former Real Madrid centre-half, but the player in question does play for FC Porto.
And, if rumours are to be believed, we could be seeing the Brazilian attacker signing for Tottenham Hotspur in the near future. Apparently, Spurs had an offer worth €60m (£51.5m) rejected by Porto, who are demanding at least €70m (£60.1m) for Pepe (A Bola).
He’s clearly an important player for the Portuguese giants, but will Tottenham be able to prise Pepe away this summer? Here’s everything we know about Pepe.
Name: Eduardo Gabriel Aquino Cossa
Place of birth: Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil
Current club: FC Porto
Former clubs: Gremio, Foz do Iguaçu, Athletico Paranaense (youth)
International appearances: 6 caps, 3 goals for Brazil Under-23s (Transfermarkt)
Club appearances: 245 appearances, 43 goals (Transfermarkt)
Pepe career stats
Since arriving in Europe in 2021, Pepe has made 100 appearances for Porto, registering 11 goals and 16 assists in the last two years (Transfermarkt).
In the 2022/23 campaign, Pepe contributed seven assists for his team, ranking joint fifth in the Portuguese league. He also placed in the top ten in the division for goal-creating actions, with 16 through the season. Most impressive, however, is the fact that Pepe completed 75 successful take-ons last year, more than anyone else in the league (FBRef).
Pepe doesn’t have much of an international career to speak of, but he did represent Brazil at the Olympics. What he lacks in experience for his country, he makes up for at club level, having won everything there is to win with Porto domestically (Transfermarkt).
Pepe strengths and weaknesses
One of the most impressive facets of Pepe’s game is his versatility. Although predominantly a winger, he played in seven different positions last season; across the midfield and attack, and even filling in at right-back.
Pepe is also incredibly skilful and has dazzling footwork, which allows him to draw fouls very often as opponents struggle to deal with him. He’s a very technical footballer with a deft touch, brilliant agility, and a keen eye for elaborate, but often successful, passes.
How that would all transition into the more physical and competitive English league, is another question, however. Pepe shares many similarities with someone like Gabriel Martinelli at Arsenal, but his propensity for the theatrical could also see him likened to the less effective Anthony, at Manchester United.
Pepe is fairly lean and light in terms of his physical makeup, which could cause him problems in the Premier League. But, with quick feet and a sharp mind, opposing players will have to hope they can catch him if they have a chance of stopping him.
What are people saying about Pepe?
A report from Sportskeeda back in 2021 claimed Pepe was being eyed up by Real Madrid before his move to Porto, and described the player as “one of the finest attackers in the Brazilian league.”
More recently, South American football expert Tim Vickery told Transfer Talk on Sky Sports (24/08/23 at 12:25 pm) that Pepe could be used as a “deputy” for Dejan Kulusevski down Tottenham’s right-hand side. Vickery described the Brazilian as a “little mosquito kind of winger,” who offers plenty of “versatility.”
A report from A Bola (via Sport Witness) at the start of last season earmarked Pepe for a move to Chelsea, after their scouts had apparently been “impressed” with what they had seen of the Porto man. That same outlet (via Sport Witness) also suggested the player was on Arsenal’s radar, with Mikel Arteta reportedly keeping a close eye on Pepe’s performances.
What do The Spurs Web think?
Pepe may not boast the kind of attacking returns Spurs are looking for right now, but his positional flexibility and high level of skill certainly make him an interesting proposition.
Players often transition from Portugal to England fairly well, too, but my main concern lies in whether Pepe is actually the kind of player we need at this moment in time.
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