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Bienvenue à Arsenal, Nicolas Pepe!

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Stade Rennais football club v LOSC Lille Association- Ligue 1 Photo by Johnny Fidelin/Icon Sport via Getty Images

Remember back in the spring, when the rumor was that Arsenal only had about £40 million to spend this summer, and we were all bracing for a summer of nothing? Well, that got blown up big time last weekend, when rumors started swirling that Lille’s Nicolas Pepe was on the verge of signing for Arsenal, for a club record €80 million (£72M) fee which seems to be, and I could be wrong here, more than £40 million.

Anyway, all that speculation was confirmed today, when Pepe put Pen to Peper...

sorry

so sorry

...when it was made official today that Pepe has, in fact, signed with Arsenal, in fact for that club record amount. The wrinkle is that Arsenal bought him on the installment plan - they’re paying about £27 million up front, it seems, and the rest in annual payments over the five year length of Pepe’s contract.

While this signing doesn’t solve Arsenal’s defensive problems, it is a welcome addition to the attack - Arsenal have needed a talented wide player for some time. They not only got one, but they got a young one (he’s only 24!) who is one of the better options around. This is an unequivocal - and somewhat unexpected - win for the Arsenal front office, at a time when they badly needed one in the eyes of many fans.