In 2019, Arsenal was certain they needed to sign a reliable winger, so they scouted the market and returned with Nicolas Pepe, whom they paid Lille £72 million to sign.
It is worth noting that Pepe had 22 goals and 11 assists in 38 league games the season before joining Arsenal, and many wanted a piece of him, but Arsenal won that race. Unfortunately, we all know the story: Pepe never lived up to the expectations placed on him at Arsenal, and until he left for a loan move to Nice last summer, Arsenal fans were still waiting for him to recapture his Lille form.
Arsenal may need to pay a lot to bring Mudryk on board, just like they did for Pepe. Two “mega” bids from the Emirates haven’t sealed the deal, and with Chelsea now in the picture, they may need to break their £72 million expensive-buy record to bring Mudryk from Shaktar.
Looking at the figures being floated for Mudryk’s potential transfer to Arsenal, Dean Jones has hinted that Arsenal must be careful not to repeat a Pepe-like signing in which they pay big money for a player who fails to find his brilliance at the Emirates. “They’re in a situation where they’re being forced to pay over the odds for a player, and they’ve got to be very, very careful here,” said Jones on Give Me Sport.
“I think for a long time, £65 million has generally been the figure I’ve been hearing that Arsenal wouldn’t want to be going over for this player. And I think we have to make comparisons to when they bought Nicolas Pepe, and they overpaid for him, and it didn’t work out.
“Now, I’m not saying that Mudryk would end up being a flop at Arsenal, but they have to be careful that they don’t overpay by a big amount for anyone at the moment.” So, who thinks Mudryk will fail at Arsenal? Few do, but that is something we may learn after he joins; hopefully, if he joins, he will become a better buy than Nicolas Pepe.
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