Respected Spanish football writer and pundit Guillem Balague has claimed that Arsenal have approached Lille about the possibility of bringing in Nicolas Pepe as a potential replacement for recently injured forward Danny Welbeck. 

The Englishman broke his ankle in Arsenal's relatively dull 0-0 Europa League draw with Sporting CP - the unfortunate injury being the only notable aspect of the game.  

Balague recently took to his YouTube channel discussing the possibility of Arsenal making a move for the 23-year-old.


With Welbeck out for the long-term, and with his contract already in its final year, Balague speculated on Arsenal's potential target, saying: "He’s one of those players that have had a great start to the season.

“He’s scored eight goals already, nine assists and he’s got a great ability with his left foot.

He’s mostly left-footed, plays on the right-hand side but also on the left-hand side.

“It’s mostly from wide areas coming inside that makes him special and it’s what he does with the ball in small spaces that makes him special.

He continued: “That’s why Arsenal are looking into the possibility of signing him. Yes, they’ve approached Lille. He cost about €15m (£13m) when he came from Angers, right now Lille will be asking for €50m (£43m).

“I’m not sure he is that value yet but certainly he is on the way up. How he scores is getting into the box and being found but he can also dribble and create by himself. He’s a top, top player that I’m convinced he will come to the Premier League and he will score as well."


The Express also reported that Pepe himself had recently responded to rumours linking him with a move away from Lille. The Ivory Coast international was reported to have said: “A preference between DortmundBayern or Arsenal?

“They’re all big clubs, I was not aware of these rumours, although it’s nice. Leave Lille at the end of the season? We do not even know what I’ll be doing tomorrow!”