According to Telefoot (via Metro), Lille have slapped a whopping £72 million price-tag on Arsenal target Nicolas Pepe.
The Gunners are keen to secure the services of the Ivorian international in the upcoming transfer window because of his consistent performances in the French top flight.
However, flushing out £72 million on Pepe is no less than a gamble. But, considering his growing reputation, is he really worth the gamble for the North London giants?
Is Nicolas Pepe worth the fuss for Arsenal?
Pepe has been a consistent performer for Lille after initially joining the club last summer. He had an impressive debut campaign with Les Dogues that saw him score 13 goals and muster five assists in 36 matches, which was crucial as they narrowly avoided relegation.
But, Pepe has been performing at a whole new level this season, having already been involved in 19 goals in just 18 league matches, making him one of the most productive attackers in Europe’s top league this campaign. Pepe’s phenomenal performances have helped Lille climb up to second in the Ligue 1 table.
While digging into Pepe’s statistics, we found that the Ivorian international has averaged over four dribbles per game, more than any other Arsenal player this season.
Pepe’s dribbling ability could be useful for Unai Emery as he lacks the services of a reliable winger, who can easily take on defenders in the final third.
Furthermore, Pepe is a productive attacker as his impressive scoring tally would suggest. But, what makes him such a nuisance in front of goal is his threat in the attacking third, as he has attempted 3.4 shots per game, a tally only bettered by Nabil Fekir and Kylian Mbappe this season.
Arsenal, in that regard, have lacked the productivity from their attackers. Aside from two strikers in Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette, most of the attackers have failed to find the back of the net on a consistent basis.
Pepe, therefore, will be an ideal solution as his presence will not only revamp Arsenal’s attacking department but also add more incision to their game.
The 23-year-old has already found immense success in the French top flight and is more than ready to make the next step in his career.
With clubs around them spending good money to challenge for the top spots, Arsenal should perhaps make a statement on their own in the transfer window.
Stat courtesy: Whoscored