Lille president Gerard Lopez has insisted that Arsenal didn’t overpay for Nicolas Pepe and the departure of Raul Sanllehi was completely unrelated.
The Gunners confirmed their Head of Football had left the club with immediate effect on Saturday in a surprising move.
Speculation in the media has suggested that part of Sanllehi’s exit was related to the performances of £72million signing Pepe, who arrived from Lyon last summer.
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The Ivorian showed flashes of brilliance but didn’t hit the ground running in his debut Premier League season, scoring eight goals and registering the same number of assists.
However, Lopez believes that Sanllehi’s exit was unrelated to Pepe’s performances and has also backed 25-year-old to show his real best form after a season of adaptation in England.
“I know for a fact he has an excellent relationship with the club and they left on excellent terms,” Lopez told Sky Sports.
“There are always going to be stories that try to be interesting, Arsenal are going through a restructuring which is part of what happens. He is a great guy, it is a great club and as far as I can see they both [Arsenal and Sanllehi] respect each other immensely.
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“They have a player [Pepe] where people forget his age, and the fact he took one season to click within our system and then became the player which we all know.
“He has had a good second half of the season at Arsenal and he is one of the rare players who can make something happen from nothing.
“The more comfortable he gets at the club, the more he will make things happen so I think the best is yet to come.”
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