The BBC are reporting that Arsenal are favourites to sign Lille player Nicolas Pepe having agreed a £72 million deal.
Pepe had a superb season at Bordeaux, scoring 23 goals and getting 11 assists in 41 appearances as Lille over-performed expectations massively and finished second in the league with 75 points (Transfer Markt).
These goal contribution numbers are highly impressive and suggest that Arsenal would be getting a great player. The player was linked with Spurs earlier in the summer (L’Equipe) and Moussa Sissoko even commented on the rumours in May by saying that if Pepe went to an English club (Le 10 Sport): ‘why not Tottenham?’.
However, as the window progressed Spurs focused on new targets such as new singing Tanguy N’dombele. Because of this it now seems that he may well join their closest rivals. This is a blow for all English clubs as Pepe is a top-quality player. However, it is odd that Arsenal are willing to spend most of their ‘Limited Budget‘ on a forward, especially considering the shambolic state of their defence last season, which conceded more goals than Wolves, Everton, Leicester and even 13th placed Newcastle!
Spurs Web Opinion
This would be a quality signing for Arsenal as Pepe had a great season last year. But It will be interesting to see if he adapts to the English game as the French league typically gives attackers much higher attacking numbers than in other leagues due to the lower quality of the division. We have seen some high profile flops in recent years from the french league like Florian Thauvin.
Spurs will be unlikely to shed any tears over missing out on Pepe as they have not had any links to the player over the last few weeks and have focused on other targets.
Have something to tell us about this article?