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Nicolas Pepe

Who is Nicolas Pepe?

Nicolas Pepe is an Ivorian wide attacker who plays for the English top-flight, the Premier League outfit Arsenal and the Ivory Coast national team.

He was born in Mantes-la-Jolie, Ile-de-France. Nicolas started his career originally playing as a shot-stopper for local side Solitaire Paris Est until Pepe was 14 years old.

When Nicola’s father Celestin, a prison guard, was transferred to Poitiers, the star began his professional career as an outfield player with the Stade Michel-Amand outfit Poitiers FC in the Championnat de France Amateur 2 (fifth tier) in the 2012–13 season.

He joined Angers in the summer transfer market of 2013 and spent his first campaign with the reserves in the CFA 2.

The forward was loaned to Orleans for the 2015–16 Championnat National term and helped them to promotion from the third division as runners-up.

Nicolas returned to Les Noirs et Blancs playing in the French top-flight Ligue 1 and which reached the Coupe de France Final in 2017.

In the summer of 2017, he signed a five-year contract with Lille, for a maximum transfer sum of €10 million, after being purchased by head coach Marcelo Bielsa who had scouted him by watching footage of every Ligue 1 match he had played in for Angers, before scouting Pepe in person. Nicolas described the Argentine as “special” and a “great coach”.

The Ivorian started the season playing as a centre-forward after being converted into playing the position under Marcelo, before finishing the campaign under the new Lille chief Christophe Galtier, playing as a wide man.

During the entirety of the 2017–18 Ligue 1 term, Pepe was a regular in a Les Dogues side that narrowly avoided relegation, missing only two matches and scoring 13 goals, including two apiece in away wins at Toulouse and Metz.

In 2019, it was announced that he had joined the Gunners in a club-record sum of £72m (€79m ), eclipsing the previous record of €62m for the Gabon international Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

He made his Gunners debut in a 1–0 away win against Newcastle United on 11 August, as a substitute for academy graduate Reiss Nelson in the 71st minute.

What style of play does Nicolas Pepe has?

He is known as a skilled and quick attacking winger who is comfortable on both wings, but usually plays on the right side in the final third cutting onto his left foot;

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