It was an incredibly quiet summer transfer window for Liverpool. The Reds only signed two backup goalkeepers (Adrian and Andy Lonergan) and two youth prospects (Sepp van den Berg and Harvey Elliott). On the back of lifting the Champions League and posting record profits, Liverpool’s lack of transfer activity was surprising to say the least. One player Jürgen Klopp was heavily linked with ended up signing for Arsenal. It looks like Liverpool dodged a bullet by not signing Nicolas Pepe.
In August Arsenal confirmed the signing of Nicolas Pepe from Lille in a £72m deal. The Ivorian winger notched an incredibly impressive 22 goals and 11 assists in the French top flight last season. At Lille he demonstrated flair, finishing ability, lightning pace and an eye for a pass. At Arsenal he has demonstrated…well…nothing.
Since arriving at the Emirates, Pepe has managed just one goal and two assists in the Premier League. His one goal came from the penalty spot against Aston Villa. On Monday night, Pepe reached a low as Arsenal lost 1-0 away at Sheffield United.
The Gooners were strong favourites for a win at Bramall Lane on Monday but left the Steel City empty handed thanks to a Lys Mousset strike after half an hour. 20 minutes in Nicolas Pepe failed to convert from just a few yards out. The ball was fizzed across the box by Sead Kolasinac from the left flank, the Ivorian tried to turn it in with his left foot and failed to make significant contact. The ball was crying out for a tap with his right but he went for the more difficult option, his preferred foot.
To sign the winger, Arsenal paid Lille over twice what Liverpool paid Roma for Mo Salah. Judging off early season form, Liverpool dodged a bullet not signing Nicolas Pepe.