NICOLAS PEPE’S imminent arrival has left Arsenal fans swooning over the winger – and swiping at Wilfried Zaha.
Excited spporters turned The Pepe Show into a comedy AND a tragedy after the Gunners agreed a £72million fee for Lille’s Liverpool and Manchester United target.
Arsenal are in “advanced negotiations” over Ivory Coast star Pepe as Napoli’s interest faded over his wage demands.
But Gooners on social media spent almost as much time trolling Crystal Palace frontman Zaha over his faltering hopes of joining Arsenal as they did hailing Pepe.
Memes depicted a crestfallen Zaha reading how the Gunners were poised to beat the world’s richest club – United – and Champions League winners Liverpool to the 24-year-old.
One tweet suggested Zaha would feel “betrayed” as he “read all the Nicolas Pepe tweets”.
And another showed a cartoon version of Zaha in an Arsenal shirt crying over his broken dream as he now contemplated Everton stepping up their pursuit.
But other Gooners looked on the light side of life as they teased their big Premier League rivals over leading the race for Pepe.
After years of Arsenal failing to mount a serious title challenge, one fan posted: “Genuinely crazy how willing I am to forgive and forget everything if this one player signs.”
A fellow Gooner went even further, saying: “Announce Pepe and the banter era is forgiven.”
He listed a decade of mishaps that left the Gunners at the mercy of mockers: “The 10-2 loss to Bayern, signing Källström to solve an injury crisis, losing Ramsey for free, Jesse Lingard dancing in The Emirates, William Gallas being our number 10, the RVP saga.”
And perhaps speaking for all Arsenal fans on Twitter, he signed off with: “Make it happen, please.”
One supporter also did a quick piece of totting up as he claimed signing Pepe would be as big a hit off the field as it could be on it.
Finishing off with a dig at Man Utd‘s focus on money-making, he tweeted: “Pepe bid is €80m. Arsenal home and away kit with Pepe 19: €160. Arsenal fans around the world 28.4m. Which means only 500,000 have to buy two Pepe shirts to give us €80m. #TweetLikeaUnitedFan”
That €80m total is of, course the equivalent in euros of Pepe’s £72m fee.
Some Liverpool fans, though, were horrified at seemingly missing out on Pepe – to an Arsenal side who finished just fifth in the Prem last season, three places below Jurgen Klopp’s men.
One said: @COYGBH_: Europa league losers Arsenal are beating Champions league winners Liverpool to the signing of Nicolas Pepe???
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Another anguished Anfieldite posted: “Nicolas Pepe is literally there for the taking, why the f*** wouldn’t you bid @LFC.
“Imagine if one of the wingers get injured, we literally have Shaqiri who is probably the most inconsistent player I have ever seen in my life.”
But if the Kop are pipped to Pepe then Klopp might pick a pricey, pacy pearler from elsewhere. But we all know that’s easier said than done.
@AllezLH: Nicolas Pépé is literally there for the taking, why the f*** wouldn’t you bid @LFC. Imagine if one of the wingers get injured, we literally have Shaqiri who is probably the most inconsistent player I have ever seen in my life.