An update has emerged on Leeds United and their interest in Nicolas Pepe in the summer transfer window…
What’s the talk?
According to The Daily Mail, the Whites are one of the teams eyeing up a swoop to land the winger ahead of the 2022/23 campaign, as Victor Orta eyes the Ivorian international.
The report claims that Sevilla and Marseille are also set to compete to land his signature, if Arsenal opt to part ways with him.
It has been claimed, earlier this summer, that the Gunners would be willing to cash in on the attacker for as little as £25m, although it remains to be seen how much Leeds would be willing to pay for him.
By snapping up a deal to sign Pepe from Arsenal, Orta can find Leeds their next Raphinha by signing a skilful left-footed right winger with Ligue 1 and Premier League experience.
The Whites sold the Brazil international, who they signed from Rennes in 2020, and he enjoyed a fantastic time in England. He scored 17 goals and racked up 12 assists in two league campaigns – starting 60 matches – for the club, showcasing his ability to make a big impact at the top end of the pitch.
Pepe endured a difficult 2021/22 – scoring once in 20 league outings – but has previously shown that he has the potential to be a useful player at this level.
In his first two Premier League seasons for the Gunners, the Ivorian international scored 15 goals and registered seven assists – starting 38 games in total. This suggests that he can have a similar impact to Raphinha in the final third if Leeds can help him to rediscover his best form.
Talent scout Jacek Kulig once claimed that the 27-year-old “destroyed Ligue 1” and the statistics from his time in France with Lille back that up.
Pepe amassed a whopping 22 goals and 11 assists in 38 matches in the French top-flight in 2018/19. He created 16 big chances for his teammates and averaged an excellent SofaScore rating of 7.28, proving that he did destroy the league with his quality out wide as he regularly made a big impact in front of goal.
His form for Lille coupled with his first two campaigns with Arsenal suggest that there is a brilliant player – who is Raphinha-esque in style and end product – for Leeds to unlock if they are able to sign him this summer.