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The massive amount Arsenal STILL owe Lille for Nicolas Pepe transfer

The Gunners haven’t finished paying off his transfer fee yet

Arsenal still need to pay off over £10m of Nicolas Pepe’s massive transfer fee, despite the Ivorian now having left the club.

The Gunners signed the forward from Lille in a deal worth a then-club record £72m in 2019, but he endured a hit-and-miss first season in north London.

Costing £30m more than Mesut Ozil had in 2013 (Arsenal’s last transfer record holder), Pepe never look close to justifying his price tag and the emergence of Bukayo Saka only pushed him further down the pecking order.

He found himself often consigned to the substitute bench across the second season, though he still chipped in with 10 goals across just 1600 Premier League minutes.

That number dropped even further the following season (to just 600 minutes in the top flight) and the Ivorian was deemed surplus to requirements following the arrival of Gabriel Jesus and Fabio Vieira, both of whom could provide cover for Saka.

It brought about a loan move back to Ligue 1, which signalled that his career in north London was coming to an end, and he has since joined Turkish side Trabzonspor for at least this season.

Now entering the fifth of those seasons, it means that the Gunners still have to shell out a fee of around £10.4m should they have stuck to those payment terms, though they will have been relieved to have been able to shift his £200,000 per week wages off their books.

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Ben Browning

Football writer and analyst. Long-time writer of all things Arsenal and avid watcher of European football. Happy to discuss all things football over on Twitter.

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