Arsenal: Journalist issues interesting Nicolas Pepe claim amidst transfer links

Image for Arsenal: Journalist issues interesting Nicolas Pepe claim amidst transfer links

Journalist Luke Edwards has been speaking on the Transfer Gossip Daily podcast about Arsenal’s linked-away winger Nicolas Pepe and what the future may hold for him.

Only a few years ago, Pepe’s arrival at the Emirates Stadium created huge amounts of fanfare as he joined the club for a huge transfer fee that smashed the club’s transfer record after the Gunners splashed out £72m on the winger.

However, after 80 league appearances and just 16 goals and nine assists, the Ivory Coast international is being linked with a return back to Ligue 1 as the Gunners look to cut their losses, amid links to Wolves’ Pedro Neto.

Edwards believes that a move back to Ligue 1 may be of interest to Pepe after flopping in England.

He said: “So they [Arsenal] are trying to make room within their wage bill, room within their squad in terms of bodies – as you obviously have to trim the Premier League squad down to 25 eventually. At the moment, I guess the suggestion is Pepe wouldn’t be in that, so they’re trying to get rid of him and get him off the wage bill.

Has Pepe been a flop at Arsenal?





“Nice are very ambitious in France. They’re owned by Sir Jim Ratcliffe, who’s [founder of] Ineos, is one of the richest men in the UK. So there’s a little bit of money there, and maybe Pepe just wants to go back to France and it might be a really good move for him.

“He was a really highly rated player when he came, he’s just one of those players who just hasn’t done it in the Premier League, hasn’t settled.”

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The Ivory Coast international arrived with a lot of pressure and expectations on his shoulder because of his transfer fee and also because of the season he’d just enjoyed with Lille, which saw him register 35 goal involvements.

However, that form has never been transferred over to the Premier League, and now with the Gunners said to be interested in Pedro Neto, who himself hasn’t been the most prolific winger since moving to the Premier League, Pepe’s time at the Emirates is looking to be coming to a close very soon.

Given Pepe’s departure could lead to plenty of positives for both sides – with the Gunners presumably in a better position to acquire Neto with the winger off the wage bill – it is clear to see why he has been linked with a move away.

Therefore, perhaps we will see the Ivorian, who has not featured for Arsenal this term, move on this summer.

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