Nicolas Pepe has returned to training at Arsenal.

Nicolas Pepe is back at London Colney, but doesn’t seem to be training with the rest of the Arsenal first team squad.

There has been speculation recently that Mikel Arteta might be plotting to reiterate Pepe into his plans for this season. Any such return to prominence at the Emirates Stadium is still a long way off for the forward, though.

The Ivorian winger has been in the wilderness at Arsenal for some time. After tumbling down the pecking order following Arteta’s appointment as manager, the 28-year-old spent last season on loan with French outfit Nice. However, he struggled to impress during this temporary stint back in Ligue 1.

Few would have guessed that there was any way back for Pepe at Arsenal. His £72 million switch to the north London club is now considered something of an embarrassing transfer market mistake. 

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Arsenal lack depth and cover for Bukayo Saka though, and Pepe has the quality to do a job for Arteta if required. Whilst his reputation has certainly taken a hit, the 37-cap Ivory Coast international scored 24 goals across his first two seasons with the club.

Arsenal Training Session
Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

What next for Pepe at Arsenal?

Reporter Charles Watts, speaking on his YouTube channel, has given his view on where the attacker currently stands at Arsenal. Watts said, “there’s been lots of talk about Pepe…’can we use Nicolas Pepe?’ He is, of course, now back at London Colney…I don’t think Nicolas Pepe is training with the Arsenal squad…that might change as things progress.”

Pepe may well be training alone for fitness reasons. He wasn’t involved with the first team throughout pre-season. If the plan is for him to join up with the group, he will need to catch up on his fitness first.

On the other hand, Pepe may be being isolated as the plan is still to try and move him on. His touted switch to Besiktas recently broke down, but Arsenal may still be plotting to clear him out before the transfer window closes.

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