Premier League • England

Nicolas Pepe ‘determined’, as Edu reveals problems involved with offloading Arsenal flops

Nicolas Pepe Arsenal July 2022

Nicolas Pepe says he is “determined” to turn around his Arsenal career amid suggestions he could be shipped out on loan this summer.

Pepe’s career at Arsenal has never got going after initial glimpses of quality after he arrived from Lille for a club-record £72m. Then boss Unai Emery claimed Pepe was “wanted by many of the top teams in Europe”. 

Pepe has scored 27 goals in 112 games for the Gunners. But he found himself down the pecking order last season. In fact he made just five Premier League starts with Bukayo Saka preferred to him last season.

The arrivals of Gabriel Jesus, Marquinhos and Fabio Viera will add more competition for Pepe. But the 27-year-old is not ready to call time on his Arsenal career just yet.

The Ivorian wrote on Instagram: “I worked hard during the summer. Change lot of things. I’m focus and determined with @arsenal and my teammates (sic).”

Pepe though is understood to be available for transfer at The Emirates.

Pepe up for sale

The Sun claim that Edu will listen to offers for the French-born winger with Newcastle, Everton and Leeds linked with a move.

Arsenal though are fearful that they will be stuck with Pepe having had “zero interest in the forward” who stated in March “we will see what happens” in the summer.

In the meantime Arsenal continue to pay Pepe’s £140,000-a-week salary. He remains under contract until 2024 after penning a five-year deal in the summer of 2019.

The paper also suggests Arsenal are asking for too much for a player who has failed miserably in England.

Technical director Edu has spoken about the problems with moving players on. The Brazilian did not name any names, but he said that honest conversations have to be held.

Edu opens up transfer problems

Asked if it was difficult to offload players, Edu told Sky Sports: “No, but it’s a part of our job to try to create some opportunities for the players.

“I think the most important thing is to make the player understand why he is here or why he needs to go. And then we have to create some possibilities with the player’s agents. And try to find the best solution possible for the player.

“As soon as you give to them a clear idea of what you want to do, it helps the situation. It’s a challenge because you have to find clubs, situations and loans. But again, if you can be direct to the player in a very respectful way, that helps a little bit to make the best decision.”

It’s widely reported that Edu and Mikel Arteta are looking to cut Pepe loose. PA reporter Mark Mann-Bryans also said as much at the start of the month. And looking at his Arsenal stats it’s easy to see why the Gunners have come to that decision.

Whether they will get anywhere near the £25m they are asking for is a huge ask. A loan move would likely be the best scenario Edu can hope for, with Spain a possible destination.