Arsenal need to try and get winger Nicolas Pepe “out of the door” at the conclusion of his loan spell with OGC Nice come the end of the season, Evening Standard journalist Simon Collings has told GIVEMESPORT.
The 27-year-old has found opportunities in Mikel Arteta’s side hard to come by over the last two seasons at the Emirates Stadium.
Arsenal transfer news – Nicolas Pepe
With Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli looking to dominate the majority of minutes in those wide positions for Arsenal, Pepe secured a season-long loan move to Nice towards the conclusion of the last summer transfer window to get more playing time under his belt.
The attack-minded player has been somewhat of a disappointment since his £72m arrival from Lille in 2019, and it seems unlikely that the Gunners will be able to recoup anything close to this amount if a permanent sale arises this summer.
And Collings believes that Arsenal need to find a way to offload Pepe permanently in 2023 and could look to replace him with somebody in the mould of Borussia Dortmund’s Julian Brandt.
What has Collings said about Arsenal and Pepe?
Collings told GIVEMESPORT: “Pepe is someone they need to try and get out of the door.
“That left-footed right-winger, somebody could play in that role, or someone who can play on the right and cut in would be [someone they could look at] in the market.
“I can’t say I’ve heard anything on Brandt, but I think he’s a player you could imagine playing in the Premier League for a big team.”
How has Pepe performed this season?
Pepe’s form has no doubt been helped by a return to the league in which he earned his record-breaking move to Arsenal, having hit the back of the net six times whilst providing a singular assist in 16 Ligue 1 appearances so far this season.
The 33-cap Ivory Coast international has earned himself an average WhoScored rating of 6.92 for his displays in the French top-flight, ranking him as Nice’s fourth-best-performing player, indicating that he has established himself as an important member of the squad.
And the £140,000 per-week earner also compares favourably to his positional peers in some aspects of his game, ranking in the top 11% of attacking midfielders/wingers across Europe’s big five leagues as well as the Champions League and Europa League for non-penalty expected goals per 90 minutes (0.35) over the last 365 days, as per FBref.
Therefore, it looks as if a separation between Arsenal and Pepe could be the best way forward for both parties as they look to move on from what has ultimately been a failed transfer.