Arsenal have confirmed the signing of Nicolas Pepe from Lille for a club-record £72m deal, to become the club’s fourth addition this summer.
The Gunners had been chasing a move for Wilfried Zaha this window, but instead have stolen a march on fellow interested parties Manchester United and Napoli to sign the highly-rated Ivorian winger – who will wear the number 19 at the Emirates.
Pepe enjoyed a prolific Ligue 1 season last term, netting 22 goals in the league and registering a further 11 assists, in turn making him one of Europe’s most sought after players. His move to Arsenal eclipses the £58m fee the Gunners paid for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and the 24-year-old was delighted to have sealed a move to the Premier League side.
“Nicolas is a highly-rated and talented winger who was wanted by many of the top teams in Europe,” said Unai Emery. “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.”
The former Sevilla manager had been on the hunt for additional firepower in wide areas this summer, and the Spaniard expressed his joy at securing the forward despite heavy interest from opposition sides.