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Nicolas Pépé

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Nicolas Pépé
Nicolas Pepe LOSC.jpg
Pépé with Lille in 2019
Personal information
Full name Nicolas Pépé[1]
Date of birth (1995-05-29) 29 May 1995 (age 24)[2]
Place of birth Mantes-la-Jolie, France
Height 1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)[3]
Playing position Winger / Forward
Club information
Current team
Arsenal
Number 19
Youth career
Solitaire Paris Est
Poitiers
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2012–2013 Poitiers 9 (2)
2013–2015 Angers II 41 (9)
2013–2017 Angers 40 (3)
2015–2016Orléans (loan) 29 (7)
2017–2019 Lille 74 (35)
2019– Arsenal 2 (0)
National team
2016– Ivory Coast 13 (4)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 17 August 2019
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 8 July 2019

Nicolas Pépé (born 29 May 1995) is a professional footballer who plays as a winger for Premier League club Arsenal and the Ivory Coast national team.

Club career

Early career

Born in Mantes-la-Jolie, Île-de-France, Pépé started his career originally playing as a Goalkeeper for local side Solitaire Paris Est until he was 14 years old.[4] But he began his professional career playing as an outfield player with Poitiers in the Championnat de France Amateur 2 (fifth tier) in 2012–13.

Angers

He signed for Angers in 2013, and spent his first season with the reserves in the CFA 2.

He made his professional debut in the second round of the Coupe de la Ligue in a 2–1 home loss to Arles-Avignon on 26 August 2014, as a 73rd-minute substitute for Yohann Eudeline. His first Ligue 2 match was on 21 November 2014, starting in a 1–1 Ligue 2 draw away to Ajaccio.[5][6]

Pépé was loaned to Orléans for the 2015–16 Championnat National, and helped the club to promotion from the third tier as runners-up.[7] He returned to an Angers side playing in Ligue 1 and which reached the 2017 Coupe de France Final, where he started in a 1–0 loss to Paris Saint-Germain at the Stade de France.[8]

Lille

On 21 June 2017, Pépé signed a five-year deal with Lille, for a maximum transfer fee of €10 million,[9] after being signed by head coach Marcelo Bielsa who had scouted the player by watching footage of every Ligue 1 game he had played in for Angers, before scouting him in person.[10][11] Pépé described Bielsa as "special" and a "great coach".[12] He started the season playing as a striker after being converted into playing the position under Bielsa, before finishing the season under the new Lille head coach Christophe Galtier playing as a winger.[13]

During the entirety of the 2017–18 Ligue 1 season, he was a regular in a Lille side that narrowly avoided relegation, missing only two games and scoring 13 times, including two apiece in away wins at Metz and Toulouse.[14]

On 15 September 2018 during the 2018–19 Ligue 1 season, Pépé scored a hat-trick, including two penalties, in the 3–2 away win over Amiens.[15] Days later, it was confirmed by club president Gérard Lopez that FC Barcelona were among several clubs that were interested in signing him.[16] On 14 April 2019, Pépé scored a goal and provided two assists in the 5–1 home win over Paris Saint-Germain.[17] He finished the 2018–19 Ligue 1 season with 22 goals, second only to PSG's Kylian Mbappé,[18] with 11 assists, and was named in the UNFP Team of the Year.[19]

On 26 July 2019, it was announced that Serie A side S.S.C. Napoli had agreed a £71.7 million pound fee with Lille.[20]

Arsenal

On 1 August 2019, it was announced that Pépé had joined Premier League club Arsenal in a club-record fee of €79 million (£72 million),[21] eclipsing the previous record of €62 million for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Upon signing for Arsenal, he was handed the number 19 shirt.[22]

International career

Pépé was born in France to parents of Ivorian descent. He received a call up to the Ivory Coast national football team in November 2016, and was an unused substitute in the goalless draw away to Morocco in 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification on 12 November.[23] He made his debut three days later in a friendly of the same score against his birth nation France at the Stade Bollaert-Delelis in Lens, playing the final four minutes in place of Max-Alain Gradel.[24]

Pépé was named in Michel Dussuyer's 23-man squad for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon, but took no part as the Elephants were eliminated from their group.[25]

On 24 March 2018, in a friendly against Togo in France, Pépé scored his first international goals in the first half of a 2–2 draw.[26] He followed it three days later with another goal in a 2–1 win against Moldova in the same stadium.[27]

Style of play

Pépé is known as a pacey and skilled attacking winger who is comfortable on both flanks, but usually plays on the right wing cutting onto his left foot, he was also converted by former head coach at Lille OSC Marcelo Bielsa to play as a striker.[13][10]

Career statistics

Club

As of match played 17 August 2019.[1][28]
Club Season League National Cup League Cup Continental Other Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Angers 2014–15 Ligue 2 7 0 1 0 8 0
2016–17 Ligue 1 33 3 5 0 1 0 39 3
Total 40 3 5 0 2 0 47 3
Orléans (loan) 2015–16 Championnat National 29 7 2 1 1 0 32 8
Lille 2017–18 Ligue 1 36 13 2 1 38 14
2018–19 38 22 2 1 1 0 41 23
Total 74 35 4 2 1 0 79 37
Arsenal 2019–20 Premier League 2 0 0 0 0 0 - - 2 0
Career total 145 45 11 3 4 0 160 48

International

As of 15 July 2019[29]
National team Year App. Goals
Ivory Coast 2016 1 0
2017 5 0
2018 4 3
2019 5 1
Total 15 4

International goals

Scores and results list Ivory Coast's goal tally first.[29]
No Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 24 March 2018 Stade Pierre Brisson, Beauvais, France  Togo 1–0 2–2 Friendly
2. 2–0
3. 27 March 2018  Moldova 2–0 2–1
4. 23 March 2019 Stade Félix Houphouët-Boigny, Abidjan, Ivory Coast  Rwanda 1–0 3–0 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualification

Honours

Individual

References

  1. ^ a b Nicolas Pépé at Soccerway. Retrieved 24 April 2019.
  2. ^ "Nicolas Pépé: Overview". Premier League. Retrieved 17 August 2019.
  3. ^ "LOSC - Nicolas PEPE (2018 - 2019) | Lille LOSC". www.losc.fr.
  4. ^ "Lille's Nicolas Pepe credits goalkeeping experience for goalscoring form". Goal. Retrieved 27 July 2019.
  5. ^ "AC Ajaccio vs. Angers SCO" (in French). Ligue de Football Professionnel. 21 November 2014. Retrieved 20 June 2015.
  6. ^ "Nicolas Pépé, le juvénile atout offensif du Sco" [Nicolas Pépé, SCO's young attacking asset]. Ouest-France (in French). 24 November 2014. Retrieved 20 June 2015.
  7. ^ "FOOTBALL L'ancien Poitevin Nicolas Pépé monte en Ligue 2 avec Orléans" [FOOTBALL Former Poitiers player Nicolas Pépé promoted to Ligue 2 with Orléans]. Centre-Presse (in French). 5 June 2016. Retrieved 30 January 2019.
  8. ^ "Angers 0–1 Paris Saint Germain". BBC Sport. 27 May 2017. Retrieved 30 January 2019.
  9. ^ "Nicolas Pépé et Hervé Koffi signent au Losc pour cinq ans (off.)" [Nicolas Pépé and Hervé Koffi sign for LOSO for five years (official)]. L'Équipe (in French). 21 June 2017. Retrieved 21 June 2017.
  10. ^ a b "Love at First Sight: How Nicolas Pepe Sent Europe's Top Clubs Weak at the Knees". Sky Sports. Retrieved 27 July 2019.
  11. ^ Bairner, Robin (29 October 2019). "The French Connection: Nicolas Pepe - Europe's most wanted". Goal. Retrieved 9 March 2019.
  12. ^ "LOSC: The confidences of Nicolas Pepe on Marcelo Bielsa". 10 Sport. Retrieved 27 July 2019.
  13. ^ a b "Nicolas Pepe: All you need to know about Lille star linked with Arsenal". Sky Sports. Retrieved 27 July 2019.
  14. ^ White, Adam; Devin, Eric (14 May 2018). "Lille have pulled off a miraculous escape from relegation – or have they?". The Guardian. Retrieved 30 January 2019.
  15. ^ "Pepe hat-trick lifts Lille into second". Ligue 1. 15 September 2018.
  16. ^ Marsden, Sam (22 September 2018). "Barcelona interest in Nicolas Pepe confirmed by Lille president". ESPN. Retrieved 30 January 2019.
  17. ^ "Brillant Lille blow away PSG". Ligue 1. 14 April 2019.
  18. ^ Dunn, Connor (19 June 2019). "The amazing statistics that prove Nicolas Pepe could've been perfect transfer for Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool". Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 6 July 2019.
  19. ^ a b "TROPHÉES UNFP 2019 : LE PALMARÈS COMPLET". LFP. Retrieved 20 May 2019.
  20. ^ "Nicolas Pepe: Napoli agree deal with Lille to sign Ivory Coast winger". Sky Sports. Retrieved 27 July 2019.
  21. ^ "Nicolas Pepe completes move to Arsenal from Lille for club-record £72m". Sky Sports. 2 August 2019. Retrieved 2 August 2019.
  22. ^ "#PepeIsHere | Nicolas Pepe becomes record signing". www.arsenal.com.
  23. ^ "Morocco 0–0 Côte d'Ivoire". FIFA. Retrieved 6 April 2018.
  24. ^ "Friendlies 2014-16 - France-Ivory Coast – UEFA.com". UEFA. Retrieved 6 April 2018.
  25. ^ "Afcon 2017: Wilfried Zaha in Ivory Coast's final squad". BBC Sport. 4 January 2017. Retrieved 30 January 2019.
  26. ^ "Togo/Cote d'Ivoire: Amical - La difficile semaine des eléphants" [Togo/Ivory Coast: Friendly - The Elephants' difficult week] (in French). All Africa. 26 March 2018. Retrieved 30 January 2019.
  27. ^ "Amical - La Côte d'Ivoire l'a emporté sur la Moldavie" [Friendly - The Ivory Coast swept past Moldova] (in French). Made in Foot. 28 March 2018. Retrieved 30 January 2019.
  28. ^ "Nicolas Pépé". ogol. Retrieved 1 February 2019.
  29. ^ a b "Nicolas Pépé". National Football Teams. Benjamin Strack-Zimmerman. Retrieved 6 June 2019.
  30. ^ "Prix Marc-Vivien Foé 2019: le Lillois Nicolas Pépé plébiscité". RFI (in French). 19 May 2019.

External links