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Why Arsenal Nicolas Pepe transfer is a bad idea

That is the opinion of former Premier League goalkeeper Shaka Hislop, who believes Arsenal are better off improving their defence.

The Gunners are closing in on the signing of Lille star Pepe for a club-record fee of £72m.

It comes as a surprise to many, who believed that the price-tag had left the north London outfit with no choice but to look elsewhere.

But the structuring of the payments has allowed Arsenal to make an offer and all that must be agreed now is personal terms with the agent.

However, an area that needs serious reinforcements at the Emirates is along the backline.

The likes of Shkodran Mustafi and Sokratis are considered error-prone while captain Laurent Koscielny has told the club he wants to leave.

And Hislop told ESPN how Arsenal have got their priorities wrong this transfer market.

“No it’s not [a defensive signing],” he said of Pepe.

“This makes Arsenal better and gives them a little bit more depth going forward.

“They will score more goals, sure.

“But for this Arsenal team to really make a push at closing the gap on, not just the top four, but the top two, they’ve got to be better defensively.

“Given the noises we’re hearing from the likes of [Laurent] Koscielny, who need replacing anyway, I’m surprised that it’s taken Unai Emery this long to see any kind of movement in terms of reinforcing their rearguard.”

Pepe was sensational for Lille last year, scoring 22 goals and assisting 11 as they finished runners-up to Paris St-Germain in Ligue 1.

Arsenal look set to beat Napoli to his signature, while Manchester United and Liverpool were also in the running.

Original article: https://www.dailystar.co.uk/sport/football/794646/Arsenal-Nicolas-Pepe-transfer-latest-update-news

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