Are Arsenal in danger of signing Nicolas Pepe 2.0?

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.

Darren N


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  1. One crucial difference is that Pepe was not the manager’s choice at the time – that’s surely the most important reason the transfer didn’t work out. Presumably Mudryk is wanted by arteta, and he has a real plan on how he wants to use him.
    Either way, I hope it’s true we have set an upper limit – there’s always an alternative

  2. True Davi, but whilst Mudryk looks good against Ukrainian teams, he is almost untested against top quality sides. Yes Arteta wants him, but does he want him at ANY price? Does he want him if he takes £20m that would get us over the line for Joao Felix for example? He could be our one purchase if we pay double his market value. Another consideration is that if he flops every club will see us as an easy mark to overcharge in future.
    We all want him but Shakhtar are seriously trying to overcharge like Italian clubs do with us.

    1. No, I agree, I’m just saying the chances of success are higher regardless of the price, because I think we have done our homework this time and will have a plan for the player. With Pepe it seemed more like the higher ups wanted to make a big signing, and he’d just had a great season for lille.
      I’m not saying that we should sign Mudryk at any price, I’m just saying I’d be more confident of him working out well if we did sign him.

  3. Three things about Pepe deal
    1. He was an agent’s signing i.e Mr you know who conspired with his agent buddies to mug Arsenal ’cause his valuation as per other interested team was 45 mil then somhow Arsenal agreed to a 72 mil deal
    2.Emery never wanted Pepe, he actually preferred Zaha who was PL proven
    3. Everyone knows Pepe thrived in a counterattacking system in France but did not want to do a Raheem Sterling and revolutionize his style. He was never interested in adapting to a different style of play. His unhappiness was there for everyone to see.

    1. Fifa etc Why not name the person who personally profited from this shady deal?
      I will! It is, as we all know, SANLLEHI. No wonder he left suddenly, overnight. Ought to be prosecuted IMO!

      1. Prosecuted for leaving over night, poor transfer dealings or something else?

        There has been no evidence to suggest he broke any laws, so I ask what should he legally be prosecuted for? Care to share any sources with sufficient evidence?

        Now I am glad he is no longer with us but to claim he should be prosecuted without unequivocal proof is obsurd.

        1. sws, an interesting question which deserves a proper answer. Firstly, the circumstantial evidence of that hideous Pepe transfer, for far too much money, is quite clear. Emery was widely known for wanting Zaha, NOT Pepe.
          Secondly, chief execs NEVER disappear virtually overnight , UNLESS suspicious behaviour or actual theft has occurred. Yet SANLLEHI did disappear, very suddenly!

          Thirdly, it would have set our reputaion and also Kroenkes reputation back hugely if an actual prosecution , AT THAT TIME, was instigated .
          Now however, our club is doing well with we fans almost united behind MA and Edu and some (though not me) even liking KSE and wanting them to remain as our owners
          I believe that NOW, much time having gone by and our team being transformed under MA , it is right that a prosecution for embezzlement be started by the club against SANLLEHI.
          I contend that those in the position to know in our club will certainly have a trail of audited evidence to chase SANLLEHI and I much hope it happens , though I much doubt it ever will do so.

          Hope that helps you understand my earlier post.

  4. Please don’t waste £80 million on an unproven 21 year old from the Ukrainian league.
    People need to stop being swayed by out of context Youtube clips regarding players. YouTube clips can make anyone look like a world beater, and that’s the whole point of them. Just pick, choose and clip the best bits of a given player. Compress 5 years worth of material into a 5-10 minute YouTube video and let fans marinate and hyperventilate on it.

    Pepe, Lokonga, Fabio Vieira, Tavares, Elneny, Mustafi, etc all looked ready in their YouTube clips but in reality some were not ready and the others were just okay average players that You’re clips made to look beastie.

    Lets not get too drawn in by these shiny toys. Let’s not allow to be drawn into the sensationalism, let’s keep cool heads and not lose our minds.

    £80 million is a joke for such an untested young player.

    In August / September 2022 the likes of Brentford apparently tabled a £25 million bid for him which was turned down. Nice tables a similar bid that was turned down. Rumour or Arsenal entering the race in the summer amd willing to table a £35 million+ bid. Rumours were that Shakhtar valued him just below £50 million and that about £45 million would be enough to entice..,,,

    But what has really happenes or dramatically changed since in Mudryks performance that had hiked his price from £40 million to about £80-100 million in Janury 2023? What are his current Stats vs his Stats in August 2022?

    I am not comfortable with spending such ridiculous amounts on an unproven youngster. It’s not like he has the Mbappe or Neymar hype at that age.. Those players went for that type of money.

    I am very nervous..

  5. I see most arsenal fans here fear even saying that João Felix is class above Mudryk which happens to be true reason his Mudryk seems to be the coach choice of option so most fear being colled clueless or antiarteta but this site is for opinions from everyone so even me at this rate I would prefer Felix than mudryk though the loan fee is quite unrealistic.

    1. @Naftali
      Where are these fans that fear saying Felix is a class above Mudryk? Who is scared to be cLled clueless or anti Arteta for believing that Felix is better than Mudryk?
      You seem to have created your own paranoid scenario in your head about this whole whole thing. You seem to have created your own strawman man situation and now attacking it?

      And it’s also just your opinion to think that Felix is a class above Mudryk. That’s not some objective FACT. And I bet you weren’t suggesting Felix until the media started linking him to Arsenal this January / a week ago.

    2. Honestly I don’t think we know. Felix is clearly supremely talented, but I’m not sure how well he fits (if we’re expecting him to cover as a CF – I think he’s one of those classic no 10s that would fit better in Ode’s position), or if he has the mentality we need. Mudryk hasn’t played at the higher levels, but maybe has the mentality to be successful here (and I stress “maybe”).

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