Nicolas Pepe is a wanted man.
The Lille winger has enjoyed an amazing campaign in 2018/19 having scored 19 goals and made 11 assists so far.
The rapid Ivorian has been establishing a reputation as being one of Europe’s most dangerous players with his speed, dribbling and finishing.
His scintillating form has turned him into arguably the most coveted potential transfer in Europe, with Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester United, Inter Milan, Arsenal, Bayern Munich just some of the names recently mentioned.
Just a couple of years ago though, Pepe was still finding his way in football.
Plying his trade at Angers, big things were expected of him.
The promise was there and a few clubs were interested in signing him before he eventually joined Lille – one of those being Newcastle United.
According to The Daily Mail in January 2017, the Magpies bid £8 million for Pepe.
A move never materialised with relegation-threatened Angers wanting to keep hold of the player, and as the winger tears apart team after team, it’s looking like a major miss for the Toon Army.
Obviously, had Pepe joined Newcastle at that time he might not have enjoyed the rise he has.
But fans will certainly rue the club failing to land him seeing how he’s turned out.
Scarily, Pepe is still only 23 and has years of developing to do before reaching his peak.
It will be a crying shame for Newcastle fans to see how good he has become when the club might well have signed him up.
Now they can only watch on as their former target prepares to join one of Europe’s elite.