Nicolas Pepe has made headlines once again, after playing a starring role in Lille’s 5-1 demolition of Paris Saint-Germain on Sunday.
The Ivorian winger was in fine fettle against the French champions, scoring a goal, making two assists and generally wreaking havoc with his pace for most of the game.
The result delayed PSG’s title party once more, with Thomas Tuchel’s side drawing 2-2 with Strasbourg the weekend before.
Pepe’s showing will surely raise his stock even further; he now has 19 goals and 11 assists in Ligue 1.
Arsenal have been linked with a move for the dynamic forward, but could face competition this summer from Bayern Munich.
Lille’s president Gerard Lopez has opened the door for Pepe to leave the club this summer, saying as quoted by Goal: “This summer, I think we will sell four to five players, no more. All clubs are forced to balance their accounts except perhaps one. I would say yes, it is sure he will leave.
“He enters a price range that can no longer be paid. There is a career choice to make for him, I think he will have the choice.”
The Gunners will surely need the finances brought about by Champions League qualification to stand any chance of signing him though. Luis Campos, Lille’s sporting director, has said the club want at least £72 million (via ESPN).
Arsenal fans react
After catching wind of Pepe’s performance against PSG, a number of Arsenal fans made it clear they want him to be their club’s marquee signing this summer:
@Arsenal we missed on the last Lille breakout star, Eden Hazard. We can’t commit the same mistake again. Nicolas Pépé is going to be World Class. He has everything. Ice cold Finisher, outstanding passer, physically impressive for a winger, and a great set piece taker. Time to 💰! pic.twitter.com/AMW1AoUnUf
— Eduardo Hagn (@EduardoHagn) 14 April 2019
Nicolas Pepe is the player we thought Gervinho was
— The Atlanta Arsenal (@AtlantaArsenal) 14 April 2019
A perfect signing for @Arsenal
— Abdool Mukhtar💫💞💫 (@Abdool000) 14 April 2019
Begging to sign for The Arsenal he is 👍
— Mark (@n7gooner72) 14 April 2019
Come to Arsenal
— TórreiraFanAccount (@FanTorreira) 14 April 2019
we need him @Arsenal and we should try harder to get his sign this summer! @UnaiEmery_ i believe this guy can fit for our team because he has great pace, ball control and can make a great chances for our attacker’s.
— Vito Christian (@VitoChristianPa) 15 April 2019
Sign him up @Arsenal
— Brian Mureti (@brian_king01) 15 April 2019
DON’T LET ANOTHER ONE SLIP @ARSENAL
— nadav (@poachseyy) 14 April 2019
— sam (@sxmingrxm) 14 April 2019
@UnaiEmery_ Please boss… im begging
— tee (@teddyyafc) 14 April 2019