Is it time for Arsenal to part company with Nicolas Pepe?

Arsenal should call it quits with Nicolas Pepe by Yash

Players such as Sead Kolasinac, Bernd Leno, Rob Holding, Calum Chambers, Cedric, Mohamed Elneny and many more have been constantly mentioned in the Arsenal circles around the globe.

Not in a sense the players’ would like, however.

Majority of the fans want them to leave so that the Gunners can continue to build a very strong squad with a pretty decent depth.

But one player, who hasn’t been talked about much, but should be included in the above list is Nicolas Pepe. The Ivorian was signed for a fee of £72m, a club transfer record.

However, it’s been over two years and the winger has still struggled to impress any Arsenal manager, as well as a good amount of the club’s faithful.

Removing the purple goalscoring patch from the latter stages of last season, where Pepe ended up with 21 goal contributions in 47 appearances, the Ivorian has nothing much to show for in his career in the iconic Red and White jersey.

His dribbling has looked very predictable most of the times. The former Lille man has also lacked inventiveness to cause chaos in the opposition back line.

And those two aspects are usually the things wingers are judged upon.

Whereas Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka have looked like they can do something whenever they have the ball at their feet.

With Smith Rowe and Saka in the team, the team’s blueprint looks closer to where Mikel Arteta truly would want it to be. That’s not the case with Pepe, however.

While Smith Rowe and Saka look like boys having fun in their backyard, Pepe looks like a player playing with shackles on. At this point of time in their rebuild, the Gunners’ hierarchy would want players in the mould of former and not the latter.

Losing possession Is part and parcel in a winger’s life. But if one is losing possession almost everythim he tries to dribble then you have to question whether he can actually dribble.

Don’t get me wrong, I am still of the opinion that Pepe is a talented player. He has already shown it in Ligue 1.

But that’s Ligue 1 and where he’s performing right now is the Premier League. You won’t get much space in one of the best leagues in the world.

Sadly, he has not shown any improvement since his arrival in 2019 and that’s a matter of concern for me.

In my opinion, Arsenal should go in the market searching for a winger. I am a big fan of Wolves’ duo of Pedro Neto and Adama Traore.

With the talent Arsenal have in their recruitment team, I trust them of finding a “hidden gem,” similar to what we witnessed with Albert Sambi Lokonga and Nuno Tavares.

The one thing Pepe can’t complain about is being not given time. He played 42 games in his first season and 47 in his second.

Now it’s about time that the Arsenal board make the bold decision and continue to be “ruthless.”

Yash Bisht

WATCH The Just Arsenal Show on YouTube – Dan Smith urges Arsenal fans to not raise expectations too high

Tags Nicolas Pepe

21 Comments

  1. fairfan says:

    No can do.
    For a start Pepe has a contract till June 2024.
    He cost 72 mill and his value has dropped 40mill down to 32 so we can’t sell till his value goes back up to at least 50mill.
    We just persevere. The team is rocketing up the table so his performances should improve.
    European football next season will give him more opportunites too. We are inextricably linked, joined at the hip so we just have to be patient.

    1. gotanidea says:

      There will be only two years left on his contract by the end of this season, so we’ll need to offer him a new contract or sell him in the summer

      He isn’t good for link-ups and doesn’t seem to click well with our academy graduates, so we’d better look for a new inverted RW as Saka’s new competitor

      Before we sell him, we could try Hutchinson first to see whether he’s physically good enough or not for EPL matches. Hutchinson seems more skillful than Neto and other young inverted RW, but he is slower and shorter than Pepe

    2. Malesela japhta Segodi says:

      No way we should sell Pepe….we need depth on the bench…teams like Man city has got so much talent on the 1st eleven & on the bench its ridiculous…if Saka or Smith get injured we are in trouble…for now i dnt mind him being on the bench because the team is playing well….if a player like Thomas get injured we also in trouble because we dnt have depth on that position…currently Tierney is injured but Tavares is playing so well that we dnt miss Tierney…Am big fan of Pedro Neto…i think we still need to buy 1 or 2 wingers..guy like Neo Lang will also fit well with our squad.

    3. John Ibrahim says:

      pepe doesnt get promoted by the media doesnt mean hes not doing well…

      hes playing well and works hard….

      doesnt mean hes not scoring 100 goals or getting 100 assists means he performing badly

  2. Ninja says:

    He really should go. He has been given a lot of time to prove but seems uninterested when his on the pitch

  3. Simon says:

    Not going to happen. He isn’t what is expected, but he is a good player, not worth 70m though. Why part ways? He is a good player, not just world class. He should stay

  4. Declan says:

    @Yash, you said the board needs to be ruthless but it is not the boards decision on who gets bought and who gets sold. If Arteta wants Pepé to stay, then he stays.

  5. Laurie says:

    Try playing him in the center forward position or an attacking midfielder if it doesn’t work sell him because he won’t make it as a winger @ arsenal

  6. Ota says:

    Play pepe on the left side of the attack..and he will do better and get more assist..one of his major problem his is inability to make passes/crosses with his weaker foot hence he always wants to cut back to his dominant foot and other times he loses possession because too often he is predictable..

    1. Grandad says:

      Spot on.He has a better chance of making an impression as a left winger.Way overpriced of course but the damage has been done and as a Manager Arteta must show some imagination in an attempt to bring out the best in the lad.No one can fault Pepe in terms of effort, and he is fairly quick and has a wand of a left foot.Yesterday I watched Foden play as a conventional left winger supported by his left back, and they caused Man Utd big problems .Hopefully Arteta watched the match and learned from it.

      1. Ozziegunner says:

        👍 👍

    2. PJ-SA says:

      Well said Ota. I think Pepe is a talented footballer that’s in need of a bit of coaching. Personally I find it quite simple(IMO) to get him to be lethal.

      -Play LW
      -Stop over dribbling
      -Run hard to the line and get your cross/shot in early once you’ve beaten your man

  7. Val says:

    whatever way we choose to look at it, we will lose money either way, sell him now sell him end of next season, he was only really worth around £40m when we bought him.

    He is a decent player, he can cause dmg to teams, he does work hard NOW, he really didnt when he signed

    In some ways i think he has similar issue to that of AMN that they want to play a certain position but in reality that isnt their best position, if you get me there.

    He is much better when he plays on the left as many have already said but ideally, i would rather he moved on sooner and got in a right footed winger. Not that i feel we need another winger even if he goes ESR playing the Grealish role has been impressive, especially in last weeks 4-4-2

  8. Buddy says:

    I don’t agree everyone should be sold simply because they haven’t played to expectations or price tag… see it this way if we recruit a winger and he comes in to perform better than Saka, does it imply we sell Saka?

    Yes he doesn’t pull up trees but last I checked his still our best productive player behind Auba

    People speak about his consistency but I don’t think it’s just that.. it’s more about his confidence, The continuous criticism of his game coupled with patchy appearances has created a mental imbalance in him that it’s affecting so many areas of his game even areas he was normally very good at.

    His strength was his dribbling and evading challenges just like his debut at Anfield, but now u can see he no longer have the confidence to dribble comfortably or even attempt to, it’s because his confidence is low that his having poor touch and ball control, and loosing the ball too often..

    His not a bad player he needs his confidence back somehow, I don’t know how

  9. Reggie says:

    Stopped reading when the writer said “let’s forget the purple patch when he scored 21 goals at the end of last season” so let forget the most important stat, that proves people who keep plugging Pepes failure, haven’t got a clue what they are talking about.

    1. Quincy Okereke says:

      Totally agree with you on that one Reggie

    2. Malesela japhta Segodi says:

      Yet we judged everyone on the stats🙄🙄

    3. Ozziegunner says:

      👍

  10. jon fox says:

    Pepe equals frustation in droves! Will he ever come through as the effective player we need and thought we had bought? IMO, no he will not!

    Id cut my losses and try to move him on or use as a swap for a hungrier, more determined, less confidence lacking type player.

    Ability is usless unless it can be made effective and mostly he has not been effective. He would be a regular were that not the case. He flatters to deceive mostly, it must be said.

    1. Paul Jarrett says:

      Here here Jon sub at best in this squad .frustrating player great at times but just doesn’t do it enough and never against anyone good in front of him .Brentford away struggled to get past the defence like most games.3rd season and looks no better for me to start a game

  11. PJ-SA says:

    Talented player in need of some coaching and to be utilized properly and is a lethal finisher when he gets in position.

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