Saturday, April 1, 2023

'ALMOST DONE': £72 million Rated Forward Ready for Summer Emirate Switch

Arsenal winger Nicolas Pepe doesn’t have ‘ any future’ at the Emirates under Mikel Arteta, Sky Sports journalist Dharmesh Sheth has informed Gunners247.

The 27-year-old was signed from Lille for a club record fee of £72 million back in 2019; however, fell out of favour in north London and joined Ligue 1 outfit Nice on loan at the beginning of 2022/23.

Last week, The Sun reported that Pepe is not seen as part of the furniture at Arsenal and could potentially have his contract ripped up in north London due to a lack of interest from prospective buyers.

His loan club Nice have ‘suggested’ that they could be open to signing the Ivory Coast international permanently, though there has been no inkling that the French side would be willing to pay a fee to secure his services.

Pepe still has one year left to run on his contract at the Emirates and the Gunners are said to be ‘resigned’ to having to pay some of the £7 million they owe the former Lille star.

In 2022/23, Pepe has been in decent form with Nice since moving back to France, netting eight times and recording one assist in 25 appearances, as per Transfermarkt.

What has Dharmesh Sheth said about Nicolas Pepe?

Sky Sports journalist Sheth doesn’t see a way back for Pepe at the Emirates, despite initial optimism from Arteta and Arsenal chiefs that the transfer would be a success.

Sheth told GMS: “He’s still Arsenal’s record signing at £72 million. So as much as I’m sure Mikel Arteta and the board would have wanted Nicolas Pepe to work at Arsenal, simply because of the outlay that they paid Lille for the player, when you’re sending a player out on loan, who cost you that much, I don’t think there’s any future in there at all and I don’t think it’s even related to the form of these other players.”

What next for Nicolas Pepe and Arsenal?
Unless a minor miracle occurs, it doesn’t look likely that Pepe will play for Arsenal again and cutting ties may be the best option for both parties, either by a contract settlement or securing the 27-year-old a permanent move elsewhere.

Sometimes big-money signings don’t work out; nevertheless, Pepe was a pretty expensive import to bring in and is probably a crystallization of how far the Gunners have come in terms of recruitment in the last few years.

In more recent times, additions such as Oleksandr Zinchenko and Gabriel Jesus have been pivotal to Arsenal’s title push and have provided far better value for money than their slightly wayward recruitment process of the past.

Pepe will almost certainly be a casualty in the summer and Arteta will hope he can recoup some of the enormous £72 million fee spent on him to reinvest back into his squad.

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