Arsenal sealed the club record £72m signing of Nicolas Pepe from Lille this week, but no sooner than he had been officially unveiled as a Gunner, a video of a television interview in which the winger said Chelsea was the only Premier League club for him has emerged.

Pepe has signed a five-year contract with Arsenal and will wear the club's number 19 shirt vacated by Danny Welbeck at the end of last season, with fans hoping to see the Ivorian reproduce the form that helped Lille finish second in Ligue 1 and qualify for the Champions League.

The 24-year-old, who was linked with a host of big clubs across Europe before eventually choosing the Emirates Stadium, insisted upon his arrival in north London: "It was important to make the right decision and I am convinced that Arsenal is the right choice."

Yet it wasn't too long ago that he publicly stated his desire to join Chelsea. And now that he has joined Arsenal, of course that video clip has been dug out and shared online.

Appearing on Telefoot during his days as an Angers player, before joining Lille, Pepe declared: "Chelsea. It's a club that makes me dream. It's the only club in England that I would sign for."

But things have changed dramatically for Pepe, just a couple of years since then.

Pepe played the first top flight season of his career in 2016/17 after time in Ligue 2 and France's third tier. Despite his 13 goals, Lille came close to relegation from Ligue 1 in his debut campaign there in 2017/18, with last season a truly remarkable turnaround.


"Nicolas is a highly-rated and talented winger who was wanted by many of the top teams in Europe," Gunners coach Unai Emery said to of the club's new signing.

"Signing a top-class winger has been one of our key objectives in this transfer window and I'm delighted he's joining. He will add pace, power and creativity, with the aim of bringing more goals to our team."