Nicolas Pepe reveals why he snubbed Napoli, Liverpool for Arsenal

Former Lille forward Nicolas Pepe says he is “convinced that Arsenal is the right choice” after completing his club-record £72 million move.

The Ivory Coast winger was the subject of serious transfer interest and came close to signing for Italian giants Napoli before finally joining the Gunners.

Pepe is now expected to form a fearsome attacking trio with Alexandre Lacazette and Aubameyang having signed a long-term deal at the Emirates.

The 24-year-old faced a tough decision regarding his future after returning from the African Cup of Nations with Liverpool also reported to be amongst those said to have had an offer accepted by Lille.

But now Get French Football News report they have been told Liverpool’s inability to offer Pepe consistent playing time at the club brought an end to talks.

Pepe has also opened up on the reason behind his decision to head to the Emirates for his next challenge.

Pepe told Arsenal’s official website: “It was my family and my agents. We talked and thought a lot about it.

“When I knew I was coming to Arsenal, I immediately thought of the French guys who play here.

“I thought of Özil, the world champions, Lacazette, Aubameyang and many more. Of course, these are the players who sprang to mind because I used to watch them when I was at Lille.

“It was at the time of the CAN [Africa Cup of Nations] as well, we thought a lot during, before and after the CAN. It was important to make the right decision and I am convinced that Arsenal is the right choice.”

Pepe also revealed how former Arsenal player Kolo Toure, also Ivorian, helped outline what would be expected of him at the club.

“Yes, especially Kolo Toure, who was with us on the [national] squad as an assistant coach.

“He spoke to me a lot about the very high level, how he got to Arsenal and how you always have to work hard and really graft on a daily basis to try and get right to the very top.”

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