Journalist Dean Jones has claimed that Nicolas Pepe could be a good option for Leeds United to replace Raphinha this summer.
According to reports in Spain (via Daily Mail), Leeds have entered the race to sign Pepe from fellow Premier League side Arsenal this summer, but they face competition from Sevilla, who are also interested in signing the 27-year-old in this transfer window.
Pepe has somewhat struggled since signing for Arsenal in 2019 for £72m, and was heavily out of favour for the Gunners last season after featuring just 20 times in the Premier League under Mikel Arteta where he only scored one goal and added two assists.
With Raphinha leaving Leeds this summer to join Barcelona, Jones spoke to GiveMeSport, claiming that Pepe could be a good fit for them and said he would need a ‘new environment’ to get his career back on track.
He said: “I do like the Pepe one and I do think he needs a new environment.
“As a Raphinha-type figure to come into your squad and replace him, I could think of worse options than Pepe, and I think he could do well.”
Would you be happy with Pepe at Leeds?
TIF Thoughts on Jones’ comments…
Leeds fans won’t have happy memories of the winger as he was branded ‘unacceptable’ by Mikel Arteta after being sent off at Elland Road in the 2020/21 season.
Although Pepe was out of favour for the Gunners last term, in the preceding campaign, he made 29 appearances in the Premier League where he scored 10 goals, so he has proven that if he is given significant game time, he has the potential to be a good player, and Marsch might see this and opt to take a gamble on him.
Arsenal paid £72m for Pepe, and even though he still has two years left on his contract, the Gunners might understand that they will not be getting anywhere near that price if they were to sell him due to the lack of impact that he has had, so Leeds might be able to get him through the door at a reduced price.