Why Arsenal Need To Beat Manchester United And Barcelona To The Signing Of This Ligue 1 Star
There were distressing scenes during the course of Arsenal's Europa League clash with Sporting Lisbon on Thursday night as the Gunners' Danny Welbeck suffered a nasty ankle injury that left him needing oxygen.
Welbeck has long been Arsenal's go to man on Europa League nights, scoring five goals in his past 13 appearances in the competition, but he looks set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines after landing on his ankle awkwardly.
The injury is the latest in a long line for a player who seems to enjoy very little luck when it comes to his fitness and several of his Arsenal teammates were clearly distressed as the England forward left the field on a stretcher.
The potential absence of Welbeck leaves Arsenal short of options in the attacking third of the pitch as Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang remain the only genuine forwards in the squad, although it remains to be seen whether the Gunners hierarchy hand manager Unai Emery funds to sign new players during the January transfer window.
The Sun have reported that Lille winger, Nicolas Pepe, has hinted that he is ready to leave France and has admitted to being flattered by rumours linking him with a move to The Emirates.
According to The Sun, Pepe said:
"A preference between Borussia Dortmund, Bayern [Munich] or Arsenal? They're all big clubs,
"I was not aware of these rumours, although it's nice.
"Will I leave Lille at the end of the season?
"We do not even know what I'll be doing tomorrow."
The 6-foot winger has been a revelation since leaving Angers for Lille in 2017, scoring 14 goals in all competitions last season before playing a starring role this term. Pepe has scored eight goals and laid on seven assists in 12 Ligue 1 games so far, while he is a player who has been capped nine times by Ivory Coast, scoring three goals.
Whether he is the man for Arsenal remains to be seen, although it is clear that the Gunners could do with adding some depth to their attacking department if they are to continue to vie for honours on several fronts. Pepe appears to be a man who has been on the Arsenal radar for some time, although they face stiff competition for his signature as the likes of Manchester United, Manchester City and Barcelona have been linked with a move for Pepe in January