nicolas pepe arsenal

Keown: Lille ‘laughing all the way to the bank’ following Pepe’s £72m Arsenal transfer

Martin Keown has reckons Lille will be ‘laughing all the way to the bank’ having extracted £72 million from Arsenal for the transfer of Nicolas Pepe.

The Ivory Coast international has struggled to adapt to English football since becoming Arsenal‘s record signing this summer, scoring just one goal since his switch to from Ligue 1, and even that came as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang allowed him the chance to take a spot-kick in the 3-2 win over Aston Villa.

Former Gunners defender Keown has been left unimpressed by Pepe’s impact in North London so far, and having seen youngster Bukayo Saka impress in Monday night’s 1-1 draw at Manchester United, Keown believes the 24-year-old will have to improve to maintain his place in Unai Emery’s side.

Keown told BT Sport: “If you think back to Arsene Wenger, he would never have blocked the path of a young player but they are in danger of doing that with Bukayo Saka.

“Pepe, is he going to get into the team? It’s a massive amount of money they have paid for him and Lille will be laughing all the way to the bank with that one.

“It’s still early days and maybe the player will turn it around but I haven’t really seen what I expected to see from him.”

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