Arsenal opinion: Arsenal dream XI with Nicolas Pepe
Arsenal have officially confirmed the purchase of their new signing Nicolas Pepe from Lille. The Ivorian will go down as the Gunners’ most expensive signing in their history, as the north London outfit splashed £72m for his services.
The fans have a lot to be excited about after his heroics last season. He was arguably the best attacker in the Ligue 1, with 23 goals and 12 assists in all competitions.
Let’s have a look at where he’ll fit in Unai Emery’s side and what would be the dream line-up.
We’re going with a 4-3-3 formation and since this is a dream XI, we will be including players who should be available after recovering from their injuries.
Bernd Leno – Goalkeeper
The German did not immediately start last season but was slowly included into the first-team and his performances have improved massively since his time at Bayer Leverkusen.
His ability on the ball and quick reflexes were especially on show in the away game against Tottenham Hotspur and the home game against Manchester United. With Petr Cech no longer at the club, Leno is the undisputed number 1.
Hector Bellerin – Right-back
He won’t be able to play their first couple of games in the season but once fully fit, Hector Bellerin is one of the best right-backs in the Premier League. It’s important to remind ourselves that the Spaniard is still only 24, as he’s been in the Premier League for a long time now.
Sokratis Papastathopulos – Centre-back
The Greek international was, by far, their best centre-back last season. His tenacity and leadership qualities really came to the fore and he’ll be the leader for another season.
Rob Holding- Centre-back
The young Englishman formed a fine partnership with the Greek ace. His ball-playing abilities fit perfectly with what Emery is trying to get from his centre-backs.
Nacho Monreal- Left-back
The Spaniard is seen as a leader in the dressing room and on the field. He’s been a consistent presence and does his defensive and offensive duties well. He’ll offer balance to a side that has a lot of attacking threat.
Granit Xhaka – Holding midfielder
The Swiss international is the metronome of the team. He’ll spray passes and provide a presence in the middle of the park. As always, he’ll keep the game ticking along.
Lucas Torreira – box-to-box midfielder
The Uruguayan has adapted to the Premier League brilliantly and is already a fan-favourite. His tenacity and ability to link the midfield and the attack has been a breath of fresh air. Arsenal have lacked a player of his kind for a long time and he’s a definite starter.
Dani Ceballos – box-to-box midfielder
The Spaniard will add some much-needed creativity to side and will also help Xhaka in ball progression. He is also capable of scoring goals and feeding the forward players with loads of chances.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – Left-wing/inside-forward
The Gabonese international shared the Golden Boot and has been one of the most prolific goalscorers in Europe in the last couple of years. There’s nothing to suggest that this might change next season.
Alexandre Lacazette – Centre-forward
Lacazette’s link-up play and sharp-shooting abilities make him the ideal central player. His off-the-ball work and hold-up play will also allow him to find pockets of spaces in between the midfielders and the defenders.
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Nicolas Pepe – Right-wing/inside forward
Pepe will provide the same threat from the other wing – quite like Aubameyang. They will unsettle defenders with their constant runs in behind and his addition will help make Arsenal one of the most dangerous forward lines in the Premier League.