A former coach of Nicolas Pepe has revealed that the winger began his career as a goalkeeper, only moving outfield as late as his teenage years.
The Gunners' club-record signing was one of Europe's hottest properties over the summer after a stunning campaign for Lille saw him score 22 goals and register 11 assists as his side finished runners-up in Ligue 1.
Firmly on the radar of major European sides for his exploits as a wide forward, the Ivorian's former coach at
"When you needed goals, he finished the game in the field," he said
Adopting the unusual route of starting in goal, Pepe wore the gloves for the entirety of his playing career until his 13th birthday, with a move to Paris Saint-Germain (as a goalkeeper) failing to materialise after they deemed him too small.
Whether Pepe is in line for his Gunners debut is not yet known, with the player having had an extended holiday following his country's exploits in the African Cup of Nations, and concerns remaining over his match fitness.
Unai Emery's side kick off their season on Sunday with a trip to the northeast to face Newcastle at St James' Park.
Source : 90min