IVORIAN PEPE IS AFRICA’S COSTLIEST PLAYER: HERE ARE TOP 5 TRANSFERS Lille's Ivorian forward Nicolas Pepe celebrates after scoring a goal during the French L1 football match between Lille (LOSC) and Olympique Lyonnais (OL) on December 1, 2018 at the Pierre Mauroy Stadium in Villenueve d'Ascq. (Photo by FRANCOIS LO PRESTI / AFP) (Photo credit should read FRANCOIS LO PRESTI/AFP/Getty Images)

There is a new record holder for the transfer of an African footballer anywhere in the world.

The deal includes English Premier League side, Arsenal and French Ligue 1 side, Lille – at the heart of the transfer is Ivorian international, Nicolas Pepe.

Arsenal dished out $89m to Lille making Pepe the most expensive African footballer ever. He signed a five-year contract with the London-based side.

His amount overtakes what Chinese side Beijing Guoan paid for DRC’s Cedric Bakambu from Spanish side Villareal. Reports indicate that the March 2018 transferof Bakambu was $79m.

Most expensive African players – BBC

  • Nicolas Pepe – $89m from Lille to Arsenal
  • Cedric Bakambu – $79m from Villareal to Beijing Guoan
  • Riyad Mahrez – $72m from Leicester City to Manchester City
  • Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – $68m from Dortmund to Arsenal
  • Naby Keita – $64m from Leipzig to Liverpool

Pepe’s records for Lille stand at 35 goals in 74 Ligue 1 appearances. He spent two seasons at Lille having transferred to the side from another French side Angers in 2017.

On his signing for Arsenal, he said: “Being here is very emotional.” He added that he had “come a long way and struggled a lot and so signing for this great club is a big reward.”



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