Nicolas Pepe at Arsenal 2019/20 - tactical analysis tactics

Arsenal, for once, are enjoying a good transfer window. Although having left most of their business late, the club had been working behind the scenes with a clear sense of purpose. As if securing the signings of William Saliba and Dani Ceballos was not enough, Arsenal then went on and brought in Nicolas Pépé for a club-record fee of 80 million pounds. The signing came as a shock to most fans and neutrals alike as nobody had expected them to sign the Ligue 1 break-out star. In this tactical analysis, we’ll provide you with a comprehensive scout report on the 23-year-old Ivorian winger and what value he’ll add to the north-London club.

Brief introduction

To understand Pépé, we need to know a bit about Lille – 2018/19.

Lille usually lined up in a 4-2-3-1. Theirs was not a possession-heavy brand of football. Instead, they focused more on finishing high-quality chances created mostly during counter-attacking situations. The team didn’t have a particularly rigid structure in-possession. The attacking quartet was given the license to drift around in the opposition’s half. Chances were created usually through dynamic superiority – combination play, fluid attacking structure, and often times through individual brilliance.

Pépé was a big part of this. He was the most influential attacking player for Lille and hence, often times the entire attacking mechanism was built around him and his movement. In the following analysis, we’ll discuss what qualities those were exactly in greater depth.

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Total Football Analysis Magazine #11: July 2019 - tactical analysis tactics
Artwork by @chapulana

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