Arsenal’s expensive misfit given chance to revive his career in France

Nicolas Pepe was hailed as a genius when he joined Arsenal from Lille three years ago, after scoring an impressive 35 Ligue 1 goals in 74 appearances.

He was Arsenal’s most expensive signing ever, but in his three years at the club he has managed just 16 goals and has never really convinced Mikel Arteta that he is good enough to become a regular starter, despite scoring in Arteta’s first ever win as manager in the Premier League.

The rise of Bukayo Saka didn’t help his cause, and last season Pepe only made 5 starts and 15 subs appearances in the whole League campaign, scoring just one solitary goal.

With rumours about language problems communicating with his coaches, it was obvious that he  needed to leave Arsenal and return to France to get his career back on track, and now his chance has finally arrived, with the official confirmation last night that Pepe will be going on loan to Nice for the rest of this season.

Let’s all wish Pepe good luck in Nice, it just never quite worked out for you at Arsenal…


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  1. So if he’s not in the plans at all, why are we doing a loan? We’ve all seen this story.

    Accept whatever we get for him and move on.

  2. To me, it makes sense to loan. If he has the same type of season in Nice as he did in his final year in France before joining us, he might restore some of his value.

    Selling him today would be close to a total loss relative to what we paid. I doubt we would get more than £15 million for him today, if that.

    1. At the end of the loan Pepe will have only 1 year left on his contract so how will a loan increase his value with minimal time left on his contract?

      Can you name 1 out of player favour that we’ve had who’s value has significantly increased after a loan that we received the sale for?

  3. A sad indictment of the incompetence of our recruitment team, which, to be fair applies to numerous Clubs in the UK and further afield.Brighton FC are a notable exception and should be congratulated for the quietly effective way they go about their business.As for Pepe, I do hope he reignites his career in the less demanding French league and can somehow attract interest from one of the more successful European Clubs.I do not share the views of Arsenal supporters who criticised him for his lack of effort.He simply did not function as an inverted right winger in a League where space is at a premium..I am pretty sure he would have been more effective on the left flank, but unfortunately we will never know.

    1. Raul was sacked for his role in the Pepe transfer and from the outside that looks dodgy as can be. Outside that our recruitment has been pretty solid overall for a while now. Even the likes of Torreira/Guendouzi were not terrible signings at their prices even if it didn’t work out for various reasons. Anyway echo you thoughts on Pepe wish him the best, will do well with the extra space afforded in Ligue 1. As to left wing he was tried there to very limited effect which is why Saka ended up having to play there. All Pepe’s best form in Ligue 1 came from the RW too. Some pretend now that Saka is a left winger wasted on the right now despite his lesser performances when played left wing to accommodate Pepe. Short memories a lot of people.

  4. We should give him a year extension before the loan.

    Its impossible for Pepe to do worst in a lower league so his value must up back some what.

    It is as simple as that, am going to apply for a sporting director job one day

  5. It seems that this a loan without the option to buy. Perhaps Pepe would only accept a loan deal so this is what happened to get it over the line. Why do many fans think that the club can do certain things without the agreement of the player concerned. It should surely be obvious that contracts and the clauses in a contract, play a huge part in the loan and sales of players. Football clubs are not run like supermarkets.

    1. True. It’s also possible that Arsenal wanted no option to buy because they haven’t given up on him yet.

      Or they think he could be more valuable after a season in his home country so they dont want to fix his price now.

  6. Interesting point made in the Sun (I know, I know, but it does happen now and again).

    They point out that 4 of the top 6 clubs have let their most expensive buys go for nothing this summer.

    United’s biggest fee was for £89m Paul Pogba, who was allowed to go to Juventus on a free — for the second time!

    Chelsea sent £97.5m Romelu Lukaku back to Inter Milan, after just one season, for a small loan fee of £7m.

    Spurs loaned their most expensive buy, Tanguy Ndombele (£55m from Lyon in 2019) to Napoli. There’s an option, but no obligation, for the Italian club to buy him next summer.

    It’s not just Arsenal having these problems.

    1. Yep. Almost like the premier league is the only one with money right now due to the pandemic. Don’t get me wrong Chelsea/Spurs still would of taken losses on Lukaku/Ndombele like us with Pepe but it would of been easier to sell rather than loan.

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