Arsenal: Journalist reveals Nicolas Pepe open to leaving this summer

Image for Arsenal: Journalist reveals Nicolas Pepe open to leaving this summer

Goal journalist Charles Watts has revealed that Nicolas Pepe is open to leaving the Emirates Stadium this summer – and Arsenal are also open to selling him.

The Ivory Coast international has struggled to make an impact at Arsenal since his club-record £72m move from Lille in 2019.

The 27-year-old started just five games in the Premier League last term as he was unable to secure a regular role in Mikel Arteta’s side.

It is understood that the Gunners are willing to sell Pepe this summer and are prepared to take a significant hit on their £72m outlay, with reports claiming that a £25m offer could be enough to persuade the Gunners.

Earlier this year, asked if a summer move was on the cards ahead of Ivory Coast’s friendly with England, he said that it was “frustrating not to play” and that it had been a “tough season” for him.

According to Spanish reports, Sevilla’s sporting director Monchi has identified the Ivorian star as a potential summer signing and he has already sounded out the Gunners to discuss a deal for the winger.

Watts, speaking on his YouTube channel, said: “I think Nicolas Pepe, we all know is a player who could potentially leave this summer. He’s switched his agent, he is open to the idea of leaving, Arsenal are open to the idea of selling – it’s just a case of can they get a deal done.”

TIF Thoughts on Pepe…

There’s no doubting Pepe’s extraordinary talents – his sheer speed, acceleration, trickery and the ability to beat markers with real ease have been on display in north London, but only perhaps intermittently. Though his form at Lille did persuade Arsenal to shell out a club-record fee of £72m to acquire his services three years ago.

He made 44 appearances during the 2020/21 campaign, managing an impressive 16 goals and five assists, but could not gain a consistent run in the team.

This past season, his struggles to get into Arteta’s thinking largely continued due to the excellent and consistent form of Bukayo Saka. The Ivorian has played 18 games, including just 653 minutes in the Premier League, while he notched three goals and five assists in all competitions.

Ultimately, Pepe’s move to the Emirates has been an unfortunate mistake in hindsight, and maybe it is time to cash in on the player that former manager Unai Emery, the man to sign him, once believed was a “top-class winger”.

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