Nicolas Pepe has unfairly been labelled a flop during his time at Arsenal, and is just a victim of his huge price tag.

That’s on the back of reports that Pepe could mutually terminate his contract with the club to sign for Turkish side Besiktas.

Arsenal Training Session
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Pepe signed for Arsenal from Ligue 1’s Lille back in 2019 for £72m and was the flagship signing of the new Unai Emery era.

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The winger arrived with so much excitement and looked exceptional in an early appearance against Liverpool at Anfield.

However, things took a turn for the worse almost ever since.

Fast forward four years and the club are now willing to terminate his £140k-a-week contract and accept their losses.

Pepe is unilaterally regarded as a flop at Arsenal, but is that fair?

The Ivory Coast international has played 112 games for the club scoring 27 goals and registering 21 assists.

And whilst those numbers are by no means bad, they were also during a difficult period for the club under Emery.

Pepe didn’t flop at Arsenal, it was almost impossible for him to live up to expectations

Although it’s easy to forget, Pepe has had some big moments at Arsenal. 

He carried the side on some Europa League nights, he scored important Premier League goals and even won an FA Cup.

OGC Nice v Paris Saint-Germain - Ligue 1
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So how did it end like this?

It’s not fair to blame Mikel Arteta either, the man who sanctioned his exit from the club.

The situation Pepe found himself in at Arsenal, burdened by his price tag, came before Arteta.

And as the winger seemingly heads to Besiktas you would think Gunners fans only wish him the best, a man full of talent who didn’t have the right environment to thrive.

Should Pepe join Arsenal now, on a much more sensible fee, he may have been considered a success in years to come.

Pepe wasn’t a flop at Arsenal, he was a player suffocated by expectation.

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