Lille boss gives his verdict on Pepe-Sanllehi rumours

Raul Sanllehi’s exit has caused a stir amongst the press and social media, but Lille boss Gerard Lopez has moved to rubbish talk of Nicolas Pepe‘s transfer being the reason behind his sacking.

The Spaniard was removed from his post this week in a supposed reshuffle of the backroom, and while all official reports claimed that there was innocent reasoning behind the decision, the rumours began to flow.

Nicolas Pepe was signed for a monster £72 Million only last summer, but Lopez is keen to squash claims that the club are disappointed with their record signing, adding that he believes Pepe’s best is yet to come.

“I know for a fact he has an excellent relationship with the club and they left on excellent terms,” Lopez told Sky Sports.

“There are always going to be stories that try to be interesting, Arsenal are going through a restructuring which is part of what happens. He is a great guy, it is a great club and as far as I can see they both [Arsenal and Sanllehi] respect each other immensely.

“They have a player [Pepe] where people forget his age, and the fact he took one season to click within our system and then became the player which we all know.

“He has had a good second half of the season at Arsenal and he is one of the rare players who can make something happen from nothing.

“The more comfortable he gets at the club, the more he will make things happen so I think the best is yet to come.”

Pepe most certainly has made huge improvements in the latter part of the campaign, although I have to credit Mikel Arteta to a point over his vast upturn in fortunes, and I for one would not complain about our record signing’s debut season at the club.

While his transfer was deemed as somewhat of a risk, it would have been harsh to sack Sanllehi on the back of it, and when you consider our window on a whole last season and in January, we could certainly have done worse with our budget.

Do fans really believe that Pepe’s transfer could have played a major role in Sanllehi’s removal from his role this week?


Tags Gerard Lopez Nicolas Pepe Raul Sanllehi


        1. Every bloody game!! I’ve lost count of how many they’ve had!!
          de Yong hadn’t scored in 11 games 😂😂 love it!!

  1. I wanted them to get to the final and lose on penalties after extra time.
    Our first game of the season is away to them. That would only of given them 2 weeks of no football before the international break and then their game against us.
    When the Premier league starts it’s going to be 2 games a week till Christmas to catch up for the late start. They’d be knackered by January.

    1. Would’ve loved to have seen them beaten by Inter, (Lukaku, Sanchez and Young 😉), in the final… oh well, still chuffed with tonight though!!

      That is if those leaked fixtures are correct..

    2. To get back on track re this article. Yes, the Pepe transfer from Lille, was a component of Sanheili’s departure. What do people expect Lille President Lopez to say, given the circumstances.
      Arsenal paid over the odds and we must hope that his improvement continues and he is worth the money.
      Now Lille, to compensate for Pepe, make sure Arsenal get Gabriel.

  2. The telegraph is reporting Arsenal have agreed a deal with Aubameyang and closing in on Gabriel. Fingers crossed. COYG.

    1. The club and Auba have been teasing us for what seems like an age!!
      We’ve achieved what he wanted – a trophy and in Europe next season.. I’m sure he’ll have his wish, with regards to his wages.. so the next big thing is who we buy!!
      Now announce it!!!!

      1. It’s imminent sue, fingers crossed for incomings too. I believe this window is going to be a successful one.

  3. It does appear, the rumor mongers are preparing Pepe for the kill with the investigation stuff as they did to Ozil. Let’s be vigilant.

    1. Baah, agree with your observations – there always has to be a whipping boy and Pepe is earmarked for the next player to be pilloried by the doom and gloom merchants.
      Lets remember, for goodness sake, he was offered the opportunity to sign for us and had nothing to do with any dubious and unproven wrongdoings.

      1. Agree Ken we have already seen it on here ,
        Not to shabby for a quiet lad who’s still young and In His first season in a new league and country .
        Let’s hope the professionals football coaches and scouts on here can atleast give him this season before telling us who we should replace him with .
        The kids got talent what he does not need is a witch hunt Atari g against him .

        1. The machinations of his transfer have nothing to do with Pepe the player, so any “whipping” of him (unless it’s about his lack of press or failure to track back) is totally unfair.

  4. 8 goals and 9 assists in a bad season is pretty positive. Imagine what he will produce in a good season. I think he will score 10 – 15 goals and make 15+ assists this season

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