Manchester United looked closely at Nicolas Pepe this summer, before the winger joined Arsenal for a record-breaking £72m back in July, via Evening Standard.
United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has made no secret in the fact that he wants to add another winger to his squad, with the Norwegian keen on signing England international Jadon Sancho from Borussia Dortmund next summer, per Evening Standard’s report.
The Red Devils signed 21-year-old Daniel James from Swansea for £15m at the beginning of the transfer window, but with flop Alexis Sanchez on the verge of joining Inter Milan on a season-long loan, they are short when it comes to out-and-out wingers.
Pepe – one of this summer’s major Premier League additions at £72m – may have been a strong addition for the Old Trafford giants.
Indeed, the Ivorian has started life in north London promisingly, averaging 3.7 dribbles in his first three appearances for the Gunners – two of which have come from the substitutes bench. To put that into context, that is already more than anyone in the Red Devils’ squad.
United may rue their decision not to fully pursue Pepe, and now look set to go after Jadon Sancho next summer. That, of course, is still a while off though, and it is difficult to see what they’d do if the likes of Daniel James and Jesse Lingard started to pick up any injuries this season.
Anthony Martial is already sidelined with a thigh complaint, which looks as though it’ll rule him out of United’s clash against Southampton this weekend.
17-year-old Mason Greenwood could well be handed his first Premier League start for the club in the Frenchman’s absence at St Mary’s, which although is promising from a development point of view, isn’t exactly ideal considering the Red Devils have just been beaten at home by Crystal Palace and could do with their strongest possible eleven on the pitch this Saturday.
Nicolas Pepe looks to have a promising future ahead of him in the Premier League. Even though he has only started one game for Arsenal so far, he has shown that he is more than capable of matching the tempo in the top-flight, and could well enjoy a successful debut season at the Emirates if he continues to work hard.
United will perhaps regret not being more active when it came to the 24-year-old pace-merchant during this summer’s transfer window, and now have to sincerely hope that they don’t suffer a severe injury crisis before being able to add reinforcements in January.
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