Nicolas Pepe: Winger joined Arsenal to make big impact - Gerard Lopez

The 23-year-old striker is confident his compatriot and childhood friend will sparkle for Unai Emery’s men

Lille president Gerard Lopez has revealed Nicolas Pepe chose Arsenal because he wanted to move to a club where he could make a significant impact.

The Gunners completed a £72 million signing of the highly-rated Ivorian winger from the Ligue 1 side this month.

Paris Saint-Germain, Bayern Munich, Napoli, Liverpool, Manchester United were linked with the winger in the summer besides the Gunners, following his blistering performances for the Great Danes last term, where he scored 22 league goals in 38 games.

However, the 24-year-old forward settled for Arsenal ahead of Napoli, who also met Lille’s asking price.

“There were two things he was looking for," Lopez told Sky Sports.

“Either he was going to play Champions League right away or he was going to be part of something that could play Champions League, but was going to be big, where his impact would not only be in terms of goals, but on the club.

“There were two clubs that had that for him - Napoli and Arsenal. Napoli playing Champions League and Arsenal one of the big clubs in the Premier League.

“He did choose the Premier League and Arsenal because that’s where he wants to leave his mark.”

The winger made his debut for Arsenal in their opening Premier League game against Newcastle United as a second-half substitute on Sunday.

Pepe will hope to make his first start for the Gunners when they take on Burnley in their next league game on Saturday.