New Arsenal signing reveals advice from Gunners legend
New Arsenal signing Nicolas Pepe sheds light on his conversation with Gunners legend Kolo Toure
Nicolas Pepe has revealed that Arsenal legend Kolo Toure offered the new signing some advice ahead of his switch to The Emirates.
The Ivory Coast international completed a club-record £72m move to Arsenal from Ligue 1 side Lille on Thursday to become Unai Emery’s fourth signing of the summer.
Pepe has put pen to paper on a long-term deal with the north London side following weeks of intense speculation linking the Ivorian winger with a switch to the English capital.
The 24-year-old will be tasked with bringing creativity and pace to the wide areas of Arsenal’s team in the 2019-20 Premier League season.
Pepe will be hoping to emulate his fellow Ivorians Kolo Toure, Emmanuel Eboue and Gervinho, who enjoyed relatively successful careers at Arsenal.
Although Pepe has followed all three of his compatriots throughout their careers, the new Gunners signing revealed Toure has been a big help with some crucial advice for Pepe.
“They are the major players from the Ivory Coast,” Pepe told Arsenal’s website.
“We talk a lot about Gervinho, for example, who played for Lille and ended up at Arsenal so I am on the same path. They are definitely examples to us young Ivorians and I hope we will continue to follow these examples.”
Pepe added: “Yes, especially Kolo Toure, who was with us on the [national] squad as an assistant coach. He spoke to me a lot about the very high level, how he got to Arsenal and how you always have to work hard and really graft on a daily basis to try and get right to the very top.”
Arsenal have also signed Brazilian teenager Gabriel Martinelli, Saint-Etienne defender William Saliba and Real Madrid midfielder Dani Ceballos this summer.
The Gunners haven’t won the Premier League title since 2004 when Arsene Wenger’s side finished the season unbeaten.
The north London side will start the new top-flight campaign with a trip to Newcastle United on Sunday 11 August.