Pepe: I’m convinced Arsenal is the right choice

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Nicolas Pepe says he is convinced that he has made the right decision in choosing to move to Arsenal despite interest from a number of top European clubs including Bayern Munich.

The Gunners confirmed this afternoon that the 24-year-old had become the club’s record signing with the deal bringing him from French side Lille thought to be worth £72 million.

In his first interview with Arsenal.com, Pepe revealed that he’d spent much of the summer deliberating over his next club before finally committing to Unai Emery’s project.

“Being here is very emotional because it has not been easy for me,” he said. “I have come a long way and struggled a lot and so signing for this great club is a big reward.”

Asked about how he came to make his decision, he added: “It was my family and my agents. We talked and thought a lot about it.

“It was at the time of the CAN [Africa Cup of Nations] as well, we thought a lot during, before and after the CAN. It was important to make the right decision and I am convinced that Arsenal is the right choice.”

Arsenal may be in the Europa League but with big names in the squad, Pepe says he’s got much to look forward to.

Asked which players immediately sprung to mind when he thought about the Gunners, he replied: “The French guys who play here. Then I also thought of Özil, the world champions, Lacazette, Aubameyang and many more.

“Of course, these are the players who sprang to mind because I used to watch them when I was at Lille.

“Also, Lacazette used to play for Lyon and so I have had the opportunity to play against him and it will be an honour to play alongside him.”

Pepe met most of his teammates yesterday and will now ramp up his pre-season preparations following a post-AFCON holiday in the States. We suspect Sunday’s match at Camp Nou may come a little too soon for him, but who knows…

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CampBerg
CampBerg

Welcome Pepe. May the football gods bless your arsenal tenure with heaps of goals.

Lobster
Lobster

And no injuries.

Heisenbird
Heisenbird

Fun fact: Pepe has never been injured.

The bird
The bird

That’s that then.

Jack but
Jack but

Iseee

C.B.
C.B.

Good lad, let’s hope he is the right choice for us!

Good luck to him.

Goonereality
Goonereality

Yes, we’ve put a lot of money (albeit over five years) where our mouth is on this one.

kaius
kaius

Today we’re fans, not accountants

thw14
thw14

Amen.

SB Still
SB Still

Credit where it’s due, I was very doubtful about the current hierarchy and cynical when they said we have a good plan, in the context of the reported c. £40M budget.

They have pulled a rabbit for sure.

Saliba, Ceballos and to top it all Pepe, good plan. It looks like we are not done. I’m looking forward to the season actually!

VAR will solve the problem
VAR will solve the problem

PAL attack? Pepe Auba Laca Attack…🤣

Scott P
Scott P

We’ve got a gem of an attack in our OPAL (Ozil Pepe Auba Laca)

Norn Iron Gooner

…or Vauxhall if you live in the UK.

Scott P
Scott P

The man doesn’t lie…

V ivianne Miedema
A lex Iwobi
U nai Emery
X haka, Granit
H olding, Rob
A insley Maintland-Niles
L ucas Torreira
L acazette, Alexandre

Reality check
Reality check

Scott P
Loll you look very happy and excited. Some positive energy well spent.. BTW, forget Vauxhall, we are talking Mercedes level attacking talent here..

Scott P
Scott P

Definitely agree on the level of talent, but I’m not doing an acronym for every auto brand in the world!

Cultured Determination
Cultured Determination

speed demon bellerin will come in to join the attack often, making it BOPAL, or does that make it PABLO?

Ted E.
Ted E.

I think it’s better than La PeAu at least… (the skin in French)

UGooner
UGooner

Well, the opposition defence is getting skinned. I like that!

HarlemWorld
HarlemWorld

ALPO

K dot

How about the French ALPs

Giddygun
Giddygun

And each is French speaking

adrian
adrian

Yeah definitely. I thought same when I started following this club.
You are in for treat!!!

Kinghenrythe14th
Kinghenrythe14th

“It was important to make the right decision and I am convinced that Arsenal is the right choice.”

Decision making at crucial times? Check☑️

Gana
Gana

It’s the right choice.
Right club, right wing, right now!

Up to Nico to write his own history.

midgunner
midgunner

As a front three Auba, Pepe and Laca are just fucking frightening! And with maybe Tierny and Hector overlapping we’ll take some stopping.

If Emery can just find a way of getting the best out of Ozil, we’re gonna rack up the goals if nothing else.

Anonymarse
Anonymarse

Not to mention Mkhi and Ceballos.

Could be two creative types and one DM.

Kolkata_Gooner
Kolkata_Gooner

Score 10 and the 5 we concede won’t even matter…COYG!!

Anonymarse
Anonymarse

Best attack we’ve had since Thierry and co, on paper at least

Rosicky4real
Rosicky4real

We still have iwobi

iGooner
iGooner

NP19. Legend in the making.

KongoKim
KongoKim

Squad number confirmed?

Tim
Tim

Yep

Henkamp
Henkamp

Seeing him stand with Edu in that pics, the Arsenal fan base going completely berserk, even the Arsenal social media unrestrained in their joy, brought tears to my eyes (I know, I am an emotional punk!)

What more can one ask for?

May the things we love and devote our lives to always give us happiness and joy!

Welcome Pepe!!!

Redbaron
Redbaron

Lets hope he is not another Mustafi or Xhaka

Martin
Martin

What’s wrong with Xhaka. Now he’s playing in his true position as a deep lying midfielder. Has a great partnership with Torreira and one of the best passing ranges in the country. Why does Emery always play him if he’s so bad?

Moses
Moses

Is that really necessary?

Joseph Furey

Toxic balls

Mayor McCheese
Mayor McCheese

Tonight I make Cacio e Pepe!

kaius
kaius

Make sure you cook some for the Sp*ds, everyone knows they love their pasta

Goonereality
Goonereality

It was important to get this done and dusted. Given all the advance publicity, the delay in announcing it was becoming a little unhelpful but was down to “administrative issues”, according to his former club. Anyway, welcome to The Arsenal, Nicolas.

kaius
kaius

What delay? Last Friday, the Lille chairman said he was still deciding and his agents and co were talking to Ancelotti in Naples. Here we are less than a week later.

As modern fans we’re just impatient. This was one of our most efficiently-executed transfers.

Rich
Rich

F*ck the defence… There’s no obvious choices….

We should try and move Ozil, Mkhitaryan and Iwobi Out, and go and get Zaha as well.

Emery said in Dec/Jan “I need wingers”
We’ve got Pepe…. we’ve got Nelson + Saka, we should now go and get Zaha as well.

Was interesting to read that Emery believes the lack of runners and dribblers, is responsible for our poor away form.

Ceballos, Willock
Pepe, Nelson
Zaha, Aubameyang, Saka
Lacazette, Nketiah

This would give us a good mix of youth and experience, allow us to regularly go with a front 4, and would be as athletic and dynamic as any forward options in world football.
#EmeryBall

Martin
Martin

Really glad you’re not the manager. Why spend £80 million on an overrated diving cheat.

Rich
Rich

Zaha is class, I agree he’s not worth £80 million….

But how about we offer them Iwobi, Jenkinson and Chambers?

lessthanthesumoftheirparts
lessthanthesumoftheirparts

That 2-2-3-2 seems a bit rich mate.

Crispen
Crispen

Very smart. Get rid of the playmaker who supplies you five star front three

Arsenalfanman
Arsenalfanman

Pepe: “I love you, Papa Edu.”
Edu: “I love you too, Pepsi.”
Pepe: “Pepe!”
Edu: “Pepe.”

baz00r
baz00r

How could anybody down vote this….

Bobbyt
Bobbyt

I hope he has strong legs to help carry Ozil

Canuck Gooner
Canuck Gooner

What do you say we give Ozil a clean slate for a game or two? Remember how good he was with Sanchez out wide? Hard for a player of Ozil’s quality to be at his creative best when our strikers have been his only quality option for a pass since Sanchez left.

Rav Singh

Good point! Let’s judge the players as the season progresses. If Ozil under performs then we can try and move him on in January if we can. If not we can try and shift him at the end of the season. Really looking forward to this season. Just a couple of defenders would be the icing on the cake.

Marvelous Mustafi
Marvelous Mustafi

Just Like A New Signing

Dave Cee
Dave Cee

Brilliant

Dave Cee
Dave Cee

Btw…well done Raul et ak

Dave Cee
Dave Cee

And all

Nnn
Nnn

It’s a breath of fresh air to listen to a new signing tell it as it is and not dish out the same trope about how Arsenal was his dream club, etc.

Pakgooner
Pakgooner

GET IN

Alex
Alex

He mentioned Özil, right?

nonononoyes
nonononoyes

As infuriating as Özil has been over the last few seasons, Pepe could be the player to bring out the best aspects of his game: passing vision and awareness of fast movement. We could be the new Keegan/Ardiles team but it is going to be fun at the very least! Looking forward to the new season now anyway.

The Spoon
The Spoon

Like the optimism. That’s what I thought would happen when we bought Auba.

Goonerink

auba loves a through ball, and tbh the main player of those last season was guendouzi in my memory

The Spoon
The Spoon

Yea this k that’s right, hopefully Cabbelos will get some forward passes going this season. I want Ozil to do well and he always talks like he wants too, but just never delivers. Maybe this will be his season, seems happier than he has for a while.

RSAGooner
RSAGooner

I think Özil has been struggling since we lost Cazorla. Hopefully Ceballos can help us transition from defence to attack better. That should make opposing teams think twice before they defend on the front foot, also takes some pressure of Xhaka. I think with Pepe and Ceballos the biggest winner this season may just be Mesut.

I fully understand this sounds over optimistic, that’s just where I am right now.

Hope I get to come back and tell you guys: I told you so.

nonononoyes
nonononoyes

I think switching from a back 5 to back 4 will help Ozil, and others, immensely. My optimism is tentative based on the evidence of the last 2 years, but I think good times are ahead.

The Spoon
The Spoon

Let’s get Everton in too, and a decent CB. Lots of games, decent rotation and no one will have a clue who they’ll have to face each week. Option to bring on Pepe with half hour to go after we’ve already run the opposition defenders ragged and watch him go. Get Tierney next season. Aim for 3rd, another FA cup and give the Europa league another crack. Squad depth has been an issue for years, if we can bring in more let’s do it. Get Martinelli on out on loan (Newcastle or that ilk if they would play him) Thats my 2 pence worth anyway. Well done Raul and Co. Funny now this is done the spuds are suddenly in talks with Fernandes…

Kampala gooner
Kampala gooner

Since we have PAL upfront might as well throw mesut a LAN. Since what he can do with alot to aim at. Right

Wezza
Wezza

No, no , no Spoon. We need Tierney big time. Remember how good it was with he who I won’t mention, linking up with Pires and the King

The Spoon
The Spoon

I remember those days well. I’m not convinced Tierney is that good, and I just kind of want Everton to join. A CB is really the main thing we need now though.

David Lomita
David Lomita

Very exciting but I think I’m with Tom. Would much rather this money went to a CB or 2.

Francesc
Francesc

New Henry

David Tross
David Tross

He will definitely make a cameo appearance on Sunday. Last chance to get match fitness before the season and the fans want to see our £72 million winger in action. It has been so long since arsenal had a genuine wide player in the team of real quality. The ox, Walcott, Gervinho, podolski, welbeck, mkhi, ramsey did a job, but not genuine wide players. Boooom

Cultured Determination
Cultured Determination

does this mean with bellerin in the squad and speed demons auba and pepe lording the wings, with laca’s clever play and unselfish work rate, we’ll finally be the va va voom team once again? we need ozil to remember how to pull the strings in midfield to put chances on the plate with these boys. hopefully ozil can rediscover his mojo. we can play 451 to deadly effect.

Wezza
Wezza

Where does Oil play? Im guessing Ceballos plays along with Xhaka and Torriera, plus the three degrees up top.

Goonerink

i think the midfield will be
xhaka / torriera
next to
guendouzi / ceballos
with
ozil / willock
in front

a DM paired with a Box to Box Mid sat behind an attacking playmaker.

Sagebrush Farm
Sagebrush Farm

I hope we get Everton Soares and Tierney on board

Santori
Santori

Unlikely.

Santori
Santori

We need a Cback.

Santori
Santori

There’s a bit of forward thinking on this one in that Pepe can also play CF.

And we may need that BC we may run the risk of losing one of Laca or Auba a season down.

Which is likely why we were somewhat in pursuit of Zaha as well and we have added Martinelli into competition with Nketiah.

Santori
Santori

Again, a bit mixed emotion on Pepe.

I am elated he has signed for us.

But I’m not sure if we have saddled ourselves with commitments down the line that will have impact to our subsequent budget should we not make CL again.

Sure you can say we need to risk something to get back into the CL and I agree with that but I wonder if that risk would be slightly more managed with a lower purchase on say a Ziyech or Fekir.

As I mentioned before I think perhaps one consideration was that we may have to pre-empt any loss of Laca or Auba down the line which is likely why we were in fro wingers such as Zaha or Pepe who can also have some CF function.

BUT we could have also not spent the additional 45m, got in a straight out wide man and utilised the money saved down the line for a CF without rushing into it and (over) committing to summers coming up.

Between Pepe and Saliba we are committing prob around 21m ++ which means should our budget (god forbid) be limited again next summer, it will have very big impact.

That said, Pepe is a great addition that will balance Iwobi playing right foot inverted on the other flank with (hopefully) Nelson coming in to rotate as well.

OTOH whilst we should be happy with the Pepe signing we also have to have feet on the ground. There are other players that may come in with our rivals that will be equally good, Dybala for instance being looked at by United.

What we really need right now having checked the box for CM (temporarily) in Cebellos and wideman in Pepe is as everyone knows a VERY strong Cback.

Not just another cback to replace Mustafi or whoever but a VERY strong Cback.

That would dictate that if we have kept our powder dry with all these loans and creative deals that we spend the load stock and barrel of whatevers left on this position and not get side tracked by other requirements that can frankly wait till later

We need to buy the BEST possible Cback option for the maximum money we can throw at.

shokim
shokim

We are blessed you chose us. Welcome Nico Pepe!

baz00r
baz00r

I love you too Pepsi, I mean Pepe

Rosicky4real
Rosicky4real

Saw a dude on this train I boarded crying last night. Guess who it was? Wilfred zaha!!!