Arsenal are interested in a deal to bring Pepê to The Emirates in the January transfer window.
That’s according to a report by Portuguese publication Record (via Sport Witness), who claim that both Arsenal and Chelsea are ‘attentively following’ the FC Porto flanker’s evolution in Liga Portugal ahead of launching a potential move for the 25-year-old this winter.
However, the report goes on to state that, with the Brazilian having recently put pen to paper on a contract extension at the Estádio do Dragão – a deal which includes a €75m (£65m) release clause – the Premier League sides will be aware that Porto can afford to be tough in negotiations for the winger.
Considering just how impressive Pepê has been in Portugal so far this season, coupled with the winger boasting extremely impressive positional versatility, it is not difficult to see why Mikel Arteta and Edu would be keen on a deal to bring the 25-year-old to north London in January.
Indeed, over his 13 Liga Portugal appearances so far in 2022/23, the £17m-rated talent has been in sensational form, scoring two goals, registering four assists and creating four big chances for his teammates, in addition to taking an average of 1.1 shots, making 1.6 key passes and completing 1.8 dribbles per game.
The £35k-per-week flanker has also impressed in a defensive capacity, making an average of 1.8 interceptions and 1.3 tackles, as well as successfully regaining possession 1.2 times and winning 5.6 duels – at a success rate of 52% – per game.
These returns have seen the player who Fernando Campos dubbed “important” average an extremely impressive SofaScore match rating of 7.21, not only ranking him as Sérgio Conceição’s sixth-best performer in the league but also as the joint 22nd-best player in the top-flight of Portuguese football as a whole.
Furthermore, with Pepê having also featured in no fewer than five different positions over the course of the season – including left-wing, left wing-back, attacking midfield, right-wing and right-back – it is clear to see that the former Brazil U23 international’s positional versatility is a huge plus for a manager.
And, considering the success Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool have enjoyed with their own utility man in James Milner – the 36-year-old midfielder who has been deployed in practically every position on the pitch aside from in goal – it is clear to see that a player in this mould can be incredibly useful in a title charge.
As such, while £65m is undoubtedly a great deal of money to spend in the winter window, should Edu go on to land Pepê in January and the winger develops into Arsenal’s own Milner at The Emirates, the Brazilian could well prove the difference between the Gunners winning the league or not come the end of the season.