Speaking in an interview with Canal Football Club, Arsenal winger Nicolas Pépé discussed his move, the Europa League, the €80m price tag and more.
“It is pleasant and flattering, but it is not me who stumped up that amount. It is flattering, but I am not thinking about that at all. I came to Arsenal because I am ambitious, to win titles, that’s why I came. Me, personally, I am dealing with it normally, my brother, my friends, they might go “It’s €80m,” but for me it was normal. For them it is like what the hell, I was at Angers, I played at Orléans and for them to see €80m, it is crazy for them. I was also surprised too, because I’ve come some way, so it is a source of pride for me. It is something that I will quickly put to one side and concentrate on football.”
“I started as a goalkeeper you know (laughs), I was with Orléans in the 3rd division, then Angers, then Lille, who had a difficult season initially and then after came this fantastic season. Now I’m at Arsenal, I am hoping to write my own history at Arsenal. Arsenal is a top, top club in England. When we were little still it was the era with Thierry Henry, Patrick Vieira, Ljungberg, Bergkamp, you know the Invincibles. And us as kids, we were watching that, so for me it is a dream to be here.”
“He (Lille boss Christophe Galtier) imagined me at Bayern, in terms of what he said, for me it was a decision that might surprise people, because it is not a club that is in the Champions’ League, but it is also a club with a lot of ambition, we are playing the Europa League which is still a European competition. We want to win it. The coach is used to this competition, he has already won it with Sevilla, last year they were in the final. The aim is to do better and therefore win this competition.”
“Lille will survive fine without me. I think they have made some good signings, there are still players there like José Fonte, Gabriel, Mike Maignan, Jo Bamba, Loïc Rémy, there is still the team there, the mayonnaise will take shape. They have the Champions’ League, they have young players who have never experienced this competition before and they are going to have that experience. I hope that they will do the best that they can… Come on Arsenal!”