Ricardo Pepi’s strong performance last season has earned him a move to one of the top teams in the Dutch Eredivisie as it was officially announced on Friday that the forward completed his transfer to PSV Eindhoven from German Bundesliga team Augsburg.
The 20-year-old has put pen to paper on a five-year deal while the Dutch side agreed to pay Augsburg a reported $9.8 million transfer fee.
Pepi makes a permanent move to the Netherlands after impressing with FC Groningen during the 2022-2023 Eredivisie season as he bagged 12 goals in 29 games for the relegated team.
Now, the former FC Dallas Academy alum will have a bigger stage to play on as he will represent one of the giants in Dutch soccer.
“Ricardo possesses the qualities we look for in an attacker, the qualities of a PSV player. He has proven to be a goal scorer in multiple positions, and he works extremely hard for it. It speaks volumes that he accounted for such a large portion of FC Groningen’s goals,” PSV’s Director of Football Affairs Earnest Stewart said in a statement.
After impressing during his time at FC Dallas and rocketing his way to the senior U.S. men’s national team, Pepi would make the move to Europe on January 22, 2022, when he signed a contract with Augsburg, making him the most expensive American MLS player to sign with a European club. However, he would have a rough time with the Bavarian team as he went goalless in 15 appearances.
With his struggles in Germany, Augsburg decided to send him out on a season-long loan to Groningen where the El Paso, Texas, native would regain his goal-scoring touch.
At still a very young age, PSV sees Pepi as a great addition to their attacking options.
“With Luuk de Jong, we have the best header in the Netherlands, but with the number of matches coming up, you want to have double coverage in every position. Ricardo is still very young, so this transfer is also an investment for the future,” Stewart said.
For his part, Pepi expressed his excitement at joining a storied club such as PSV and is looking forward to starting the next stage of his career.
“I am incredibly happy and excited to be here,” he said. “I believe this is the right step for my career. PSV is a club with great ambitions, and I share the same desire to win trophies. I am a hardworking player who is willing to put in the dirty work. I prefer to have the ball close to the goal because that’s when I can score goals.”
Pepi will have plenty of time to get adjusted to his new teammates as the system of head coach Peter Bosz as PSV has a series of preseason games to play throughout July.
He may see his first official action for the team on August 5 when PSV faces Feyenoord in the Dutch Super Cup.