Premier League • England

Arteta plots to axe forgotten Arsenal man who has ‘little chance’ of playing for the Gunners again


Arsenal winger Nicolas Pepe reportedly has ‘little chance’ of playing for the club again, after a disappointing loan spell at Nice this season. 

Former Gunners manager Unai Emery bought the attacker for a club record £72m fee in 2019. However, he has never lived up to his hefty price tag.

However, with Pepe believed to be on a weekly wage of £140,000, Arsenal may have to take drastic action to offload him this summer.

Indeed, as previously noted by TEAMtalk, the London club may have to terminate the Frenchman’s contract early in order to get him off the books.

This would mean they could be forced to pay at least some of the £7m he is still due from his dealwhich is valid until June 2024.

It’s no real surprise to see Arteta keen to get rid of Pepe as soon as possible. After all, Gabriel Martinelli and Bukayo Saka have been key to Arsenal’s success this term.

Along with them, the Gunners also have the likes of Leandro Trossard and Reiss Nelson as backup options. Although, Nelson is still haggling over a new contract. 

With that in mind, there is almost zero chance that Pepe would get into Arteta’s starting XI.

READ MORE: Arsenal refuse to budge for bargain attacker signing despite former player’s transfer warning

Pepe’s Arsenal career is almost certainly over

These claims are backed up by French outlet L’Equipewho state that Pepe has ‘little chance’ of ever playing for Arsenal again, due to his failure to have an impact at Nice.

This season, the 27-year-old has made 27 appearances across all competitions – scoring eight goals and making one assist in the process.

This loan spell was thought to be his final chance to impress Arteta, who, it’s fair to say, has never seemed convinced by his abilities.

His less than impressive form has been slightly surprising, though, given he netted 22 goals in his final season at Lille, before he joined Arsenal.

Indeed, if Pepe was going to reignite his career anywhere, you would think it would be in Ligue 1, but this hasn’t come to fruition.

Now, the question is whether any team will be willing to take a punt on Pepe this summer.

It’s almost certain that no-one would be willing to pay him £140,000-a-week. So, the Frenchman would likely have to take a big pay cut to leave the Emirates, if Arsenal don’t terminate his current deal.

But, even if the Gunners do cancel his contract a year early – Nice have already suggested they won’t be signing him permanently. This shows how far he has fallen from his excellent stint at Lille.

READ MORE: Fabrizio Romano tips Arsenal to offload star they ‘trust’ as Arteta brutally sanctions double exit