Ar­se­nal sign Lille winger for club record fee

Fiji Sun - - Sport -

Ar­se­nal have signed Ivory Coast winger Ni­co­las Pepe from Lille for a club record fee of £72m (FJ$172.47m).

The 24-year-old has signed a five-year con­tract at Emi­rates Stadium af­ter hav­ing a med­i­cal on Tues­day.

Pepe scored 35 goals in 74 Ligue 1 ap­pear­ances for Lille, who he joined from Angers in 2017.

“Be­ing here is very emo­tional,” said Pepe. “I have come a long way and strug­gled a lot and so sign­ing for this great club is a big re­ward.”

He be­comes the fourth most ex­pen­sive sign­ing in Premier League his­tory af­ter Manchester United duo Paul Pogba (£89m) and Romelu Lukaku (£75m), and Liver­pool de­fender Vir­gil van Dijk (£75m).

Pepe added: “It was im­por­tant to make the right de­ci­sion and I am con­vinced that Ar­se­nal is the right choice.”

Dur­ing the 2018-19 Ligue 1 sea­son, only Paris St-Ger­main’s Kylian Mbappe had more com­bined goals and as­sists than Pepe, who will wear the num­ber 19 shirt for Ar­se­nal.

“Ni­co­las is a highly rated and tal­ented winger who was wanted by many of the top teams in Europe,” said Gun­ners boss 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.”

Ni­co­las Pepe.

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