Ian Wright reacts to new Arsenal signing Nicolas Pepe
Arsenal legend Ian Wright is delighted with the Gunners' new signing Nicolas Pepe
Ian Wright has revealed his delight that Arsenal were able to sign a player of Nicolas Pepe’s calibre this summer.
The Gunners confirmed the signing of the Ivory Coast international on Thursday after weeks of speculation linking the 24-year-old with a move to Arsenal.
Pepe is Arsenal’s new club record signing after the Europa League runners up spent £72m on the Ivorian winger to see off competition from Serie A side Napoli.
The new No19 will be tasked with adding more pace in wing positions as well as striking up a fruitful partnership with Arsenal attacking duo Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette.
Former Arsenal striker Wright believes Pepe ticks a lot of boxes for Unai Emery’s team ahead of their Premier League opener at Newcastle United on Sunday 11 August.
“It’s a deal we assumed would never be done but it’s brilliant. This is the kind of player who, once he settles in, I personally think we’ve got a world-class player on our hands,” Wright is quoted as saying by Metro.
“I’m not being over the top, I’m not being over-excited. I genuinely believe that from what I’ve seen of him. He ticks so many boxes in terms of goals and assists but for me it’s the directness. We miss that.
“We miss a player that can take players on one-on-one and beat them. A player who can receive the ball, dribble, turn and run at players. No defenders want to face that. I’m very excited about it.”
The Gunners legend was quick to heap praise on Arsenal’s head of football Raul Sanllehi after Pepe became the fourth signing at the club in a busy transfer window.
“I’ve got to give credit to Raul [Sanllehi, head of football] and the senior leadership of our club. This is exceptionally good business. This is unbelievable. This is the kind of business Arsenal have missed for so long,” Wright added.
“We could mention that other fool that was there – but I won’t because I’m in a positive vein now. This is the kind of player [about whom] we’d usually be saying ‘I wish we’d have got him’. Well, we’ve got him.”
Arsenal have also signed Brazilian teenager Gabriel Martinelli, Saint-Etienne defender William Saliba and Real Madrid midfielder Dani Ceballos this summer.
The Gunners will be hoping to secure a top-four finish for the first time in four seasons after their outlay on talent in the 2019 summer transfer window.