Nicolas Pépé Wages & Contract
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Nicolas Pépé was born in a commune in Northern France called Mantes-la-Jolie. He started out his playing career as a goalkeeper for Solitaire, a position he would play in until the age of 14. Pépé would later credit his goal-scoring ability with his understanding of goalkeeper movements gained during this time.
Pépé began his outfield career for Poitiers Football Club, a city he moved to because his father was transferred there for his duties as a prison guard. The team was in the French 5th tier and this is where he began to develop his signature style. He is a player who likes to play on the right-hand side of midfield and cut in on his left foot to whip balls into the far corner of the opposition net.
Pépé would spend the next few years signed to Angers but his break came when he signed a 5-year contract for Lille in 2017. In his first season with the club, they would only manage to avoid relegation from Ligue 1 by one place. However, this time gave him great exposure to playing against some of the best teams in the world.
The following year Lille finished second in the league behind Paris Saint-Germain. It was during that season that he started to make a name for himself. In the subsequent transfer window, the competition for Nicolas Pépé’s signature was fierce. The 24-year-old had finished the season with 22 goals in 38 appearances making him the second-highest goal scorer in the league behind superstar Kylian Mbappé.
On the back of his scintillating performances in France, Arsenal fans were excited when their club managed to sign him for an eye-watering £72 million, a record transfer fee for the club. In his first season with the club, Pépé made 31 Premier League appearances and scored 5 goals. Despite Arsenal not having their best season they still managed to win the FA Cup.
In the following two seasons, Pépé would make fewer and fewer appearances before being loaned out to Nice for the 2022/23 season. Arsenal fans hope that under Lucien Favre’s guidance, Pépé will receive the minutes and opportunities necessary to regain the form he had while playing with Lille.
Nice agreed to cover 50% of Pépé's salary and Arsenal are paying 25% so he is taking a 25% pay cut in order to start playing regular football again.
Despite being born in France, Pépé plays for the Ivory Coast national team, the country where his parents immigrated from. He made his debut in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers and has also played in each of the African Cup of Nations since then.