The arrival of Nicolas Pepe will surely add a lot of qualities to the Arsenal’s attack next season, as the Ivorian is expected to be one of the Gunners untouchables in the starting eleven next season.
Pepe finalized his transfer to Arsenal on Thursday from French side Lille Metropole, in a deal that worth £72m and he’s expected to start from the right position, the same position Super Eagles forward Alex Iwobi has made his own since the arrival of Unai Emery.
After the deal for the 24-year old was made official, Arsenal Boss Unai Emery described him as a top-class winger, who’s wanted by many top clubs.
“Nicolas is a highly-rated and talented winger who was wanted by many of the top teams in Europe.”
“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 boss said to the press.
Pepe signed a five-year deal with the former English champions, at the back of his outstanding season with Lille in 2018/19, where he scored 23 goals and registering 12 assists in 41 games.
However, in that period, Iwobi had only scored 11 goals and notched 16 assists for the Gunner in 100 premier league appearances.
Haven joined with the reputation of one of the most sorted after players in this season’s transfer window, it will not be a surprise, should the Emery decided to pick Pepe ahead of Iwobi to provide services for a front duo of Alexander Lacazette and Emerick Aubameyang next season.
The arrival of arrival Pepe means Iwobi’s chances for regular playing time is no longer guaranteed, as he will have to compete with the likes of Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Mesut Ozil to make the vacant left side of the Gunners attack his own.
A player like Iwobi needs regular playing time to develop into a world-class player, but the tough competition for a place in his natural position might be one the stumbling block to fulfill his potential at the Club.
Meanwhile, Lille has replaced Pepe with Nigerian forward, Victor Osimhen, incidentally the Ivorian wing wizard has been tipped to replace another Nigerian in Alex Iwobi at Arsenal.