Big bucks Pepe to make full debut? How previous record Arsenal buys fared on first starts
Aug. 17, 2019
Nicolas Pepe is in line to make his full debut against Burnley on Saturday – LIVE on talkSPORT.
The club’s big money summer signing made his first competitive Gunners appearance as a 71st-minute substitute in the 1-0 win over Newcastle on the opening weekend of the Premier League season.
Arsenal smashed their club-record transfer fee to sign Pepe in a £72million deal from Lille earlier this month.
Gunners fans will have high hopes for Pepe after he scored 23 goals in 41 appearances in France last season.
The 24-year-old can play on either wing or through the middle and use his blistering pace to run in behind defenders.
Below, talkSPORT.com looks at how Arsenal ’s previous record transfers fared on their full debuts for the club…
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Andrey Arshavin – £15million
Full debut: Arsenal 0-0 Sunderland, February 2009
After chasing him throughout the January transfer window, Arsenal finally broke the bank to sign Arshavin from Zenit St Petersburg.
The former Russia international came close to scoring against Sunderland on his debut, but could not break the deadlock for his new side.
He was replaced by Carlos Vela after 63 minutes.
Arshavin will be remembered fondly by Arsenal fans for scoring all four goals in the club’s 4-4 draw at Liverpool in April 2009.
However, the winger failed to hit the heights at the Emirates and rejoined Zenit on loan three years after leaving for north London.
Mesut Ozil – £42.4million
Full debut: Sunderland 1-3 Arsenal, September 2013
After falling out of favour with Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti, Ozil became a realistic target for Arsenal.
And the Gunners made a statement of intent when they surpassed their club-record transfer fee by over £27million to sign the German midfielder.
Ozil wasted no time in introducing himself to the Arsenal faithful when he assisted Olivier Giroud’s opening goal in the 11th minute at the Stadium of Light.
The 30-year-old is a fans’ favourite at the Emirates and is set to play a crucial part under Unai Emery this season.
Ozil will be in no shortage of lethal forwards to assist with Pepe, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette in attack.
Alexandre Lacazette – £46.5million
Full debut: Arsenal 4-3 Leicester, August 2017
Arsenal won a battle with Atletico Madrid to sign Lacazette from Lyon during the 2017 summer transfer window.
But they had to pay big money for one of Ligue 1’s most potent goalscorers.
Lacazette netted just 94 seconds into his debut with a fine header against the Foxes in a thrilling victory
The France international has scored 36 goals for the Gunners in two seasons and won the club’s Player of the Year award last term.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – £56million
Full debut: Arsenal 5-1 Everton, February 2018
Aubameyang has been a huge hit since joining Arsenal from Borussia Dortmund.
His full debut was a breeze as he coolly netted the fourth of Arsenal’s five goals against a hapless Everton.
The 30-year-old won the 2018/19 Premier League Golden Boot award with 22 goals, tying with Liverpool stars Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane last season.
And he kicked off the new campaign in style by scoring the winning goal against Newcastle.
He will be crucial to Arsenal’s season once again.
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