LONDON (AP) — Arsenal has broken its transfer record to sign winger Nicolas Pepe from Lille as the London club tries to return to the Champions League.
The 24-year-old Ivory Coast international is moving to the Premier League in a transfer deal worth a reported 80 million euros ($89 million).
Pepe’s move, announced Thursday, eclipses the 55 million pounds ($67 million) spent on Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in January 2018 as Arsenal adds another attacking option to a squad that finished fifth last season.
Arsenal manager Unai Emery says, “Nicolas is a highly-rated and talented winger who was wanted by many of the top teams in Europe. Signing a top-class winger has been one of our key objectives in this transfer window and I’m delighted he’s joining. He will add pace, power and creativity, with the aim of bringing more goals to our team.”
Pepe started out as a goalkeeper before reverting to being an outfield player during his time with amateur side Poitiers.