Arsenal to conduct review over concern they overpaid for Nicolas Pepe


Arsenal’s board fear they paid significantly over the odds to complete the signing of Nicolas Pepe from Lille last summer.

Arsenal smashed their transfer record to sign the winger, agreeing a £72m fee, with the cost to spread over the duration of his five-year deal.

Unai Emery, who was manager at the time of Pepe’s arrival, wanted to sign Wilfried Zaha instead but was overruled by the club.

Pepe was underwhelming during his first six months at Arsenal, but his form did improve towards the end of the season under Mikel Arteta.

Despite his progress, according to ESPN, Arsenal wants to hold an internal review of their transfer activity in a bid to form a cohesive approach moving forward.

The gunners’ Technical Director Edu is currently incharge of a major overhaul of the club’s scouting department.

Arsenal had started to move away from a data-led approach to their transfer business when former head of recruitment Sven Mislintat left the club 18 months ago and began to work closely with a group of super agents.

Players like David Luiz and Cedric Soares, both represented by Joorabchian, have recently signed new contracts, while Willian’s transfer to Arsenal has been confirmed.

Speaking about his influence at Arsenal, Joorabchian told talkSPORT: ‘People forget about the previous guy, Sven.

‘He made a bunch of, I don’t like to use the word, but, cock-ups with players he brought in at very, very large numbers.’

He added: ‘I actually think a lot of rumours have occurred and I don’t know why. But obviously I think when Covid happened there was not much to say so people figured David Luiz was the key picture to speak about.

‘And the situation of David because he is a big player, he is an important player, created this vibe of: “Oh, I have such great influence at Arsenal”.’


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