TRANSFERS: Pépé arrives as Nice clinch Conference qualification | OneFootball

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Ligue 1 Uber Eats Official

·26 August 2022

TRANSFERS: Pépé arrives as Nice clinch Conference qualification

Article image:TRANSFERS: Pépé arrives as Nice clinch Conference qualification

OGC Nice have strengthened their attacking line-up with the arrival of Arsenal's Nicolas Pepe on loan - just as they prevailed 2-0 over Maccabi Tel-Aviv in the Conference League play-offs to secure a place in the group stage.

Now that Lucien Favre's side will be playing regular European football, they will need to bolster their ranks - and, conveniently, they can now count on the talents of Arsenal's 27-year-old Ivorian international striker Nicolas Pepe, who has been loaned out by Arsenal for a season (with no option to buy), OGC Nice announced on Thursday. The former Lille man arrived in Nice on Thursday and underwent a medical in the morning before his representatives finalised the deal with the French club. He was officially presented to the Nice public a few minutes before the start of the Nice-Maccabi Tel Aviv match, won by the Gym (2-0) and counting for the second leg of the Europa League play-off. Big night on the Riviera

After losing the first leg 1-0 in Nice, Les Aiglons had their work cut out for them - even after Alexis Claude-Maurice's opener (25') levelled the tie at 1-1. With away goals no longer being used as a tie-breaker, the match went into extra-time before another Alexis - of the Beka Beka variety - got his side over the line (113').

Nice now go into the group-stage draw knowing they have an uber-talented reinforcement for their front line - who can score goals as well as make them - with a proven track record in France's top flight. Pépé, the Ligue 1 Uber Eats revelation of 2018-19 Pépé began his professional career at Angers, before making his mark with LOSC Lille between 2017 and 2019. In the north, Nicolas Pépé formed the 'BIP BIP' partnership with Jonathan Bamba and Jonathan Ikoné. In the 2018-19 Ligue 1 season alone, Pépé scored 22 goals and provided 11 assists. Overall, in 107 games in the French league, he scored 38 goals and 18 assists.

He was then transferred to Arsenal in August 2019, signing a five-season deal with London club. In three seasons with the Gunners, he made 79 Premier League appearances and scored 16 goals. A wide player with 13 caps for Côte d'Ivoire, he can also play as a centre-forward. The Ivorian is OGC Nice's sixth signing after Romanian attacking midfielder Rares Ilie, 19, who joined from Rapid Bucharest; Welshman Aaron Ramsey, 31, who joined from Juventus on a free transfer; Italian centre-back Mattia Viti, 20, who joined from Empoli; French midfielder Alexis Beka Beka, 21, who joined from Lokomotiv Moscow; and Danish international goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel, 35.

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