90min journalist Graeme Bailey believes Newcastle United could look to bring in Arsenal outcast Nicolas Pepe this summer as the Ivorian ticks a lot of boxes for the Tyneside club.
The Magpies have been looking to improve their wingers this season with the likes of Moussa Diaby from Bayer Leverkusen, but no bid has officially been placed, and Callum Hudson-Odoi, but interest seems to have cooled since it was first linked.
With this in mind, Bailey has suggested that Eddie Howe’s squad could look to sign Nicolas Pepe, who has become surplus to requirements at the North London club. Bailey believes Pepe ticks all the boxes for Howe and he is available for a transfer.
He told Loaded Mag NUFC: “I’d keep an eye on this one, guys. He [Nicolas Pepe] ticks an awful lot of boxes… a really interesting one this one, it is a possibility. It does tick a lot of boxes, he’s available and as you say maybe even on loan at some point, but yes, there is a little bit in this.”
TIF Thoughts on Pepe to Newcastle…
Pepe, who earns £140k per week (Spotrac), has not had the easiest time during his brief stint at Arsenal and has seen his standing in the squad quickly diminish to a role player rather than an important cog in Mikel Arteta’s machine.
While failing to find consistency in the side, he did manage to pick up three goals and six assists in 23 appearances for the club, with most of them coming in the Carabao Cup. While the goals may not impress, his Fbref stats tell another story.
In his limited minutes, he ranked in the 98th percentile for touches in the attacking penalty area, 91st for non-penalty expected goals and 90th for dribbles completed compared to other attacking midfielders and wingers in the top five leagues.
There is no doubt there is a player in Pepe and maybe new scenery and being at a club that wants him could help him find his form again. It has been reported Arsenal could accept just £25m for the wingers who previously cost £72m just a couple of years ago. For this price, what could go wrong?