Noel Whelan believes that Newcastle should take a ‘gamble’ on Arsenal winger Nicolas Pepe with a loan-to-buy offer in the summer.
The Ivory Coast forward became Arsenal’s record signing in 2019 when he joined in a £72million deal from Lille, having scored 23 goals and added 12 assists during the 2018-19 Ligue 1 campaign.
Despite making an impressive start to life at The Emirates, Pepe has become somewhat of an enigmatic presence since – with the Gunners being tipped to cut their losses this summer.
Indeed, Mikel Arteta is already known to be looking at replacements for the 26-year-old.
And former Leeds United star Whelan has a plan that could work for Eddie Howe’s men.
“When you consider the money they paid for him, he’s been very average. It’s a really bad bit of business from Arsenal.
Pepe hints at Arsenal exit again
Nicholas Pepe has again hinted at leaving Arsenal but where would he go?
“If they can get £25 million for him, they need to be taking it – even if it’s a massive loss.
“Teams will be reluctant to pay that sort of fee for an inconsistent player like Pepe, though. It may well be a loan-to-buy deal.
Newcastle might fancy taking a gamble
“He’s really not contributed enough. Whether the Premier League is too tough for him? I don’t know – we know he came from France, which is a far easier league.
“A loan move may be something that Newcastle might fancy. These are the sort of players they will be targeting. He could turn his career around and end up being that big-ticket player. But right now, it’s a gamble.”
Pepe has scored 27 goals in 107 appearances in all competitions for Arsenal, which is not a complete disaster.
However, given the price tag and the reputation he forged in France, the Gunners have to disappointed with his overall output.