The Premier League club bought the skillful winger from Lille on August 1, 2019, for the said amount which happened to be the club’s record signing. The French club where Arsenal bought Pepe from, bought the Cote d’Ivoire international from fellow French Ligue 1 club Anger for just €10 million on July 1, 2017. This means that within three years at Lille, Pepe market value increased to a whopping €80 million.
The deal has been a topic of discussion on various sports platforms across the world since it was announced. Many have been of the opinion that Arsenal paid too much for the football star while some believe that Pepe worth the value Lille placed on him which Arsenal agreed to.
But the club’s technical director Eduardo César Daud Gaspar (Edu), who joined the club three weeks before Pepe signed the deal, would not allow the deal to go unexamined. He has added it to one of the moves he intends to make in his attempt to overhaul the recruitment process of Arsenal. One of the moves Edu has made has led to the sacking of some Arsenal’s staff like Francis Cagigao, Brian McDermott, Brian Clark, and a host of other senior scouts of the club across Europe.
The state of Nicolas Pepe’s £72m transfer deal with Arsenal
Nicolas Pepe left Lille for Arsenal after he signed a five year deal with the Premier League club which would keep him in England until June 30, 2024. Though his weekly wage, £140,000, is not even close to the highest-paid player at the club, Mesut Ozil who earns £350,000-per-week, he is the most expensive player in Mikel Arteta’s team.
According to reports, Arsenal agreed with Lille to pay Pepe’s transfer fee in installment. The Premier League club paid £20 million upfront before Pepe could join the club. The second installment is said to be due this summer amid the coronavirus pandemic which has greatly affected the finances of the club.
Edu feels something was wrong with the whole deal as other clubs who competed with Arsenal for the signature of Pepe were said to be shocked when they realized how much Arsenal agreed to pay for Pepe.
So far, Arsenal’s fans believe that Pepe has not started to repay the heavy investment the club made on him. Most of them might not mind the ongoing internal investigation that has been launched into the deal that brought him to their club.
The Arsenal star who scored 23 goals and made 12 assists in 41 appearances for Lille in the 2018-2019 season which was his last in France, only managed to score 8 goals and made 10 assists in 42 appearances for Arsenal in the 2019-2020 season.
However, he also played a good part which proved to be enough to help Arsenal win their 14th FA Cup title on August 1, 2020. He scored a goal in the tournament and made 2 assists.