Lille manager, Christopher Galtier has expressed his reservations at Pepe’s decision to join Arsenal.
The Ivorian international joined Arsenal this week in a deal worth 72 million pounds – the highest in the history of the club. Arsenal reportedly fought off competition from Napoli, Bayern Munich and Liverpool to land the talented wing-forward.
When asked about the move, Galtier was of the opinion that Pepe would have fit in better at Bayern Munich and the fact that Arsenal would not be able to offer Champions League football might be a turn-off.
‘I thought of Bayern because I knew there was a place [for him in the team], with both Ribery and Robben leaving,’ he told INFOSPORT+. ‘I saw him well in this championship, but hey, apparently, he chose Arsenal.’
‘He will not have the enjoyment of discovering the happiness of the Champions League,’ he continued.
‘What I am very happy about is that we have been able to keep him for both periods of the previous transfer window, both the summer transfer window and the winter one. It is all in honour of our president when there had been quite strong attacks around Nicolas. He wanted to do a full season, he showed what he was able to do at home, in Ligue 1.’
Gatlier also expressed his reservations about the Premier League and cast doubts as to whether his former player would be able to adapt.
‘There [in the Premier League] he will surely be in the championship that is the most difficult, the most intense, the most rhythmic.’
Pepe might play his first game in an Arsenal shirt tomorrow when they face Barcelona in the last preseason friendly before the league starts.