Why Manchester United should go all out to sign Nicolas Pepe in the summer
Lille’s explosive winger Nicolas Pepe has been one of the stars in the Ligue 1 this season, having already shown a lot of glimpses that he can become the next big thing in European football.
The 23-year-old French-born Ivorian joined Lille in 2017 from Angers and played a major role in helping the club avoid relegation last season. Nicolas Pepe has managed to add an extra gear to his performances this campaign, netting 16 goals and providing 8 assists in just 23 Ligue 1 matches.
Manchester United should definitely join the host of Premier League clubs to sign Nicolas Pepe from Lille in the summer.
The Reds have enjoyed a fantastic renaissance in form under interim manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who has overseen 9 wins in his 10 games in charge.
The Manchester United attacking players have shown excellent understanding and chemistry with one another under Solskjaer, making them an even more potent weapon, and that has given the club an excellent platform to build their charge for the top four.
But as far as United’s attacking style of play is concerned, they tend to create more chances from the left. That has at times made them predictable and one-dimensional, leaving the production from the right wing absolutely nil.
The Red Devils have lacked a genuine right winger who can create chances, score goals and work in tandem with the likes of Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard.
Lingard has done well on the right but he likes to drift in to create openings for his teammates, and so does Juan Mata, while Alexis Sanchez continues to be a shadow of his former self at Old Trafford.
Come summer, United desperately need a right winger with blistering pace, dribbling skills and crossing abilities. That would certainly make the signing of Nicolas Pepe perfect for the Red Devils.
Blessed with pace, skill on the ball and ability to create things out of nothing, Pepe would undoubtedly add balance to United’s attack. His best position is as a right winger but he can also play in behind the striker or as a false 9, meaning the Ivorian will give the tactical flexibility in the attack.
With Martial, Rashford, Lingard and Pepe plus the likes of Mata, Lukaku and Sanchez, Manchester United would become one of the most devastating sides in Europe. Pepe would give the team real width from the right, and would also be an excellent counter-attacking outlet.
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United should show more ambition in the summer than they showed last year and bring in Pepe, who will get the fans excited, making a statement to the rest of Europe in the process. Still only 23, Pepe could prove to be a long-term solution for United on the right.