Liverpool were strongly linked with a move for former Lille forward Nicolas Pepe for the majority of the summer, but it’s Arsenal that prised him from the Ligue 1 club.
The Gunners haven’t long announced their impressive capture, an renowned BBC journalist David Ornstein believes there’s one main reason Pepe is in London now instead of up north.
Welcome to The Arsenal, Nicolas Pepe 🤩
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) August 1, 2019
Ornstein wrote in a piece for the BBC that he believes Arsenal were the only club willing to pay over the odds for the African Cup of Nations star.
“Many people I’ve spoken to in the industry and who know French football really well say that Nicolas Pepe is not worth £80million,“ he said.
“He’s not worth £72million. He is a great player by the sounds of it and he’s got great potential and very valuable, but that sounds like it was over what most other clubs were willing to pay.”
It wouldn’t be a surprise if it was money that won it for Arsenal – the Reds haven’t looked like they’re going to splash the cash again this summer.
With all due respect to the Gunners and Pepe, the forward would only warm the bench for Mo Salah or Sadio Mane at Anfield so it’s no shock that Jurgen Klopp would baulk at a £80million price tag.
We may never know the full extent of Liverpool’s interest in Pepe, but Arsenal have bagged themselves a star in their latest move.