The 27-year-old Ivorian joined us back in 2019 for £72 million (BBC). Many hoped he’d set the Premier League on fire alongside Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, but things just didn’t work out for him.
Now, it looks like his Arsenal career is over.
Kevin Campbell makes claim about Nicolas Pepe’s Arsenal future
After a disappointing campaign last time out that saw Pepe start just eight games in all competitions, Mikel Arteta decided there was no place for the Ivorian in his side.
Arsenal tried to get rid of him in the summer, but a permanent deal just wasn’t possible. Edu then explored loan opportunities, and Nice decided to take him on until the end of the campaign.
Pepe has done a decent job back in France, scoring six goals in 18 appearances. That’s twice as many as he scored in the whole of last season for Arsenal.
A good second half of the campaign at Nice could make Pepe a wanted man again, but Campbell believes there’s no way back for him at Arsenal no matter what.
“The only reason he comes back is really if the clubs don’t want him. That’s the only reason he comes back. He’s not coming back. Mikel Arteta has tried him, seen him. No.”
Campbell is right, Pepe’s Arsenal career is over unless something miraculous happens over the next few months.
Pepe is not a bad player by any means. The Ivorian has the quality to win games on his own – he showed that during his time at Lille, but things just didn’t work out for him at Arsenal.
Lack of regular opportunities under Mikel Arteta combined with Bukayo Saka’s emergence as one of the best right-wingers in the Premier League made it impossible for Pepe to cement a place in the side.
A permanent move away at the end of this season would be perfect for all parties, but whether there’s a club out there willing to meet Arsenal’s demands for Pepe remains to be seen.