Nigel Winterburn says Arsenal have made a ‘perfect’ signing
Nigel Winterburn expresses his delight at seeing Nicolas Pepe sign for Arsenal this month
Nigel Winterburn has expressed his delight at seeing Arsenal be able to complete a deal to sign Nicolas Pepe from Lille this summer.
The 24-year-old Ivory Coast international became the most expensive player in the Gunners’ history when they shelled out a fee believed to be worth as much as £72m.
Pepe came off the bench in Arsenal’s Premier League opener against Newcastle United last weekend as Unai Emery’s men claimed a 1-0 win at St James’ Park.
Arsenal fans will be hoping to see Pepe start alongside the likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on Saturday lunchtime as the Gunners prepare for their home clash against Burnley at The Emirates.
And former Gunners defender Winterburn has admitted that he was thoroughly delighted to see Arsenal complete a move for the talented attacker this summer.
Speaking to Sporting Bet, Winterburn said: “Nicolas Pepe is the perfect signing for Arsenal, they have been desperate for a genuine wide man with pace to burn for a couple of seasons now and Pepe provides that threat.
“He is lighting quick, carries the ball well, he is terrific with the ball at his feet and is willing to put a good shift in for the team.
“I’m surprised that no other Premier League team challenged Arsenal for his signature, but Arsenal acted swiftly to make the signing happen which might have limited other clubs’ ability to get involved in the transfer speculation.
“He will need to be given the chance to settle in to the way that Arsenal play, but he is going to be vital to the team.
“He will allow Arsenal to counter-attack a lot more quickly than they did last season and it will free Lacazette and Aubameyang to focus on what they do best – get in behind defenders and score goals.”
Arsenal are aiming to try and break back into the top four this season after they finished fifth and without a trophy last season, with Emery’s men suffering a disappointing defeat by Chelsea FC in the Europa League final.
The north London side have not won the Premier League title since their famous unbeaten triumph in the 2003-04 campaign.