Arsenal's Nicolas Pepe was statistically the 8th best player in Europe last season


Arsenal have got their man and his name is Nicolas Pepe.

Just as Gooners were coming to terms with the reported £45 million they had to spend this summer, it flew out of the woodwork that they were spending big on the Lille forward.

Sure, it seems as though Arsenal are diving through a few loopholes by paying incrementally, but it means the transfer window hasn't been as boring as many fans would have expected.

"Being here is very emotional," the Ivorian told Arsenal's website. "I have come a long way and struggled a lot and so signing for this great club is a big reward.

"When I knew I was coming to Arsenal, I immediately thought of the French guys who play here.

Pepe completes Arsenal move

"I 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."

That's all well and good, but many Arsenal fans don't watch Ligue 1 on a weekly basis, so is he actually much cop? Well, as far as last season is concerned - absolutely. 

Gooners have probably long heard the basic statistics by now with Pepe scoring 23 goals, although nine were admittedly penalties, and providing 11 assists in all competitions.


Brilliant statistics last season

However, now that Arsenal have finally secured the deal, it makes sense to dig even deeper into the statistics and the humongous bank of data at allows us to do just that. 

Collecting a wide set of data from every aspect of player performance, the website gives each player a match rating and averages the number out across the 2018-19 season.

That leaves Pepe with the number 7.62, making him the eighth-highest performer in Europe's top five leagues last season, which is seriously impressive from thousands of players.

Check out the full list down below to see the only seven players that could top Arsenal's new man:

1. Lionel Messi (Barcelona) - 8.48

2. Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain) - 8.00

3. Teji Savanier (Nimes) - 7.89

4. Eden Hazard (Chelsea) - 7.81

5. Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus) - 7.68

6. Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich) - 7.65

7. Alejandro Gomez (Atalanta) - 7.64

8. Nicolas Pepe (Lille) - 7.62

9. Raheem Sterling (Manchester City) - 7.61

10. Thiago Alcantara (Bayern Munich) - 7.59

11. Kerem Demirbay (Hoffenheim) - 7.59

12. Luis Suarez (Barcelona) - 7.57

13. Mohamed Salah (Liverpool) - 7.57

14. Marcel Halstenberg (RB Leipzig) - 7.56

15. Sebastien Haller (Eintracht Frankfurt) - 7.55

Get excited Arsenal fans, Pepe is practically rubbing shoulders with Messi and Ronaldo statistically.

Sure, statistics only go so far in predicting success, but it just underlines how brilliant Pepe's season was when almost 50 amalgamated data-sets thrust him right into the top ten.

To put the statistics into even more context, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette found themselves miles behind despite experiencing strong seasons of their own.

Arsenal FC v Newcastle United - Premier League

In summary, Arsenal fans can be reassured by the quality that Pepe possesses, it all comes down to whether he can transport his impressive displays from Ligue 1 to the Premier League.

If he can produce another season with other 30 goal contributions, then the Gunners will officially have one of the best attacks in world football. Watch this space.

Do you think Pepe will be a success at Arsenal? Have your say in the comments section below.

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