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Martin Keown hits out at £72m fee for Nicolas Pepe

Keown hits out at £72m fee for Nicolas Pepe
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Martin Keown questions Arsenal's decision to spend £72m on Nicolas Pepe during the summer transfer window.

Former Arsenal captain Martin Keown has claimed that Lille "will be laughing all the way to the bank" after convincing the Gunners to pay £72m for Nicolas Pepe during the summer transfer window.

Pepe scored 22 Ligue 1 goals during the 2018-19 campaign before joining Unai Emery's side, who paid a club-record fee to bring the Ivory Coast international to the Emirates Stadium.

The 24-year-old has managed just one goal in nine appearances for his new club this season, though, and Keown has claimed that his former side should have saved their money due to the emergence of Bukayo Saka.

"If you think back to Arsene Wenger, he would have never have blocked the path of a young player but they are in danger of doing that with Bukayo Saka," Keown told BT Sport.

"Pepe, is he going to get into the team? It's a massive amount of money they have paid for him and Lille will be laughing all the way to the bank with that one. It's still early days and maybe the player will turn it around but I haven't really seen what I expected to see from him."

Pepe has completed four of Arsenal's last five Premier League matches, although the attacker was substituted against Manchester United on Monday night after failing to make an impact.

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