Lille attacking ace Nicolas Pepe is on the verge of making a move to Arsenal, as per reports.
Arsenal have reached an agreement with the French outfit to sign Pepe in a deal worth £72 million, it has been claimed by BBC. However, personal terms are yet to be agreed upon.
Due to a tight budget this summer, the Gunners will pay the transfer fee in a series of instalments, and the transfer is expected to be completed in a couple of days.
Arsenal have already signed Gabriel Martinelli, Dani Ceballos, and William Saliba this summer, although Saliba has been loaned back to Saint-Etienne.
Pepe, however, will be their first marquee signing of the summer as the Gunners will break their club record to sign the winger.
Is Pepe worth the outlay?
Pepe has been a consistent performer for Lille after them in the summer of 2017, and has drawn a lot of plaudits for his explosive ability in the final third.
He smashed in 22 goals and also managed 11 assists in 38 appearances in the French top tier last season, and helped Lille finish second in the league standings.
The 24-year-old is undoubtedly one of the hottest properties in Europe at the moment, and has also become a key player for the Ivory Coast national side.
Blessed with excellent dribbling skill, Pepe can take on opposition defenders and beat them with a trick or two. His finishing is also impressive, which is reflected by his incredible goal-return from last season.
With pace to burn as well, Pepe could be a nightmare for defenders in the Premier League and the freshness the Arsenal attack needs.
Where will he play at Arsenal?
Henrikh Mkhitaryan flattered to deceive last season, while Reiss Nelson is still in his learning years, so Pepe, who had a stunning season with Lille, could be the ideal solution up top.
The former Angers attacker can stretch defences or cut inside and test goalkeepers from the right.
Apart from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette, Arsenal’s attackers lacked the productivity up front last season, which might be solved by Pepe’s arrival. His prolific finish will help the Gunners with their offensive productivity next season.
With Pepe and Aubameyang operating from the wings, and Lacazette as the centre-forward, Emery’s side will have pace and drive, most importantly three players who can put the ball in the back of the net.