NICOLAS PEPE has finally completed his £72million move to Arsenal in an incredible transfer signing for the Gunners.
But fans will have to wait to see their new club-record arrival – and here is why.
Is Pepe making his Arsenal debut against Newcastle?
The Ivorian started his Arsenal career by training on his own at London Colney in a bid to improve his fitness, missing their pre-season friendly against Barcelona.
Pepe has only recently returned from a holiday in Miami, having spent most of the summer at the Africa Cup of Nations.
With little time to bed in at the Gunners, Emery had already revealed that he will not start against Newcastle.
He said in his press conference on Friday: “With Pepe, he is working and training with us for a week. Progressively I want them to feel good with their partners, with their coaches, with us.
“It’s different to how he was training in Lille. I want to give him the best moment to make his debut with us. Maybe it can be Sunday, I will decide tomorrow.”
With the release of the team line-ups shortly before Arsenal’s clash against Newcastle, it revealed Pepe would start on the bench with fellow new signings David Luiz, Dani Ceballos and Gabriel Martinelli.
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What has Pepe said about his new club, Arsenal?
Pepe officially joined Arsenal on Thursday, breaking the club’s previous record transfer – set when the Gunners signed Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for £56m.
The new arrival said in his first interview with the club: “Being here is very emotional because it has not been easy for me. I have come a long way and struggled a lot and so signing for this great club is a big reward.”
He added that it was the French contingent that sprang to mind when he considered moving to the Emirates, along with the abundance of talent on offer up front.
Pepe said: “I also thought of Özil, the world champions, Lacazette, Aubameyang and many more. Of course, these are the players who sprang to mind because I used to watch them when I was at Lille. Also, Lacazette used to play for Lyon and so I have had the opportunity to play against him and it will be an honour to play alongside him.”
He becames the latest Ivorian to make the move to Arsenal, with Kolo Toure, Emmanuel Eboue and Gervinho all among the former Gunners.
And it was Toure that handed Pepe advice while they were on Africa Cup of Nations duty, with the ex-defender now assistant coach for the Elephants.
The new signing said: “He spoke to me a lot about the very high level, how he got to Arsenal and how you always have to work hard and really graft on a daily basis to try and get right to the very top.”