Mikel Arteta runs the risk of losing frustrated £27M-rated star this summer

Nicolas Pepe has admitted that he is enduring a frustrating season as he struggles for consistent playing time at Arsenal this season.

The forward arrived for a club record £72 Million fee in the summer of 2019, but none of his three seasons thus far have been ideal. Pepe has shown glimpses of his ability, but he has failed to show enough consistency leading to others to forge ahead in the pecking order.

This term he finds himself behind all of Bukayo Saka, Emile Smith Rowe and Gabriel Martinelli for the wide roles, limiting him to very few minutes off the bench, and Transfermarkt now has him valued as low as £27 Million at present.

The player spoke to the press this week (via The Sun) to assure that he was ‘focused’ on helping Arsenal to achieve their top-four target this term, but went onto admit that it has been a frustrating season and he cannot guarantee anything beyond the current campaign.

Nico said: “I am focused on how well we do until the end of the season and the club’s target, which is getting into the Champions League. Then we will see what happens.”

He added: “It is an honour to play for Ivory Coast. The most important thing is to enjoy your football. That is something I am able to do when I get the chance to play.

“It is happening at international level and a bit less so at club level. It is frustrating not to play. No player enjoys not playing but I have to respect the coach’s decision.

“When a team is winning it is hard for a coach to make changes. Mikel has explained that to me and I know I have to work hard in training to get more playing time.

“The coach knows what I think and how hard I am working. It is also about communication. Sometimes it is not easy to communicate with the language barrier.

“It has been a tough season for me.”

I don’t think anyone would begrudge Pepe an exit this summer, but questions will be asked if we are to sell him for a massive loss which will likely be the scenario. Pepe has started only five Premier League matches this term, with his latest coming in October 2021, and with just two years remaining on his current contract come the summer, we may well be forced into selling before his value plummets even further.

I feel as though he could help us push for a strong finish this season, but I don’t think anyone is expecting him to play ahead of Martinelli, Saka or Smith Rowe, and even with Champions League football next term, I just don’t believe it would make sense to keep him.

Can you see Pepe still being at the Emirates come September?


Tags Nicolas Pepe


  1. Next season we will be in Europe 🤞we cannot ask Saka ESR or Martinelli to play 60 games so we would need Pepe, Arteta has to make him happy this season by giving him game time

    1. 👍 Sensible approach. How much will a player of equal ability/potential cost should Nicholas Pepe leave?
      Can anybody blame him should he request to leave or run down his contract?

    1. I have been saying that for a while now but I’m sure MA can also think of that and most probably tried in practice

  2. So after nearly 3 years language is still a problem. Says a lot for why he’s not starting games, as Arteta said the other day that players should speak the language of the country they are playing in.

  3. Declan when I first saw the head line i thought it was Saliba, but the numbers may have got lost in translation

  4. The perfect solution for Nico Pepe is to loan him to one of the the premier league club, could be even be a newly promoted one next season.

    Then insert a clause in the contract to the club taking him on loan that he starts all there games unless he is injury

    Failing to starts him in all the games, that club will have to pay Arsenal a minimum of say £50,000 a match he misses

    That would ensure he gets a full uninterrupted season of a good run in the premier league.

    If he dosen’t come alive after that full season we cut our losses, but he may just comes alive

    1. No club would be that insane to agree to sign a player on loan with a clause like that in a contract. The player could just go through the motions and the rest of the team would suffer.

    2. That is a good theory that can help revive Pepe’s game. He is such a talent gone down the drain without enough minutes on the pitch.
      Giving him enough minutes will also increase his sale value if need be otherwise the player needs full support from a neutral perspective.

  5. Unfortunately was never convinced by him when he had a run in the team but every now and again he would take a game by storm and be the motm! Recently for country and some of his recent cameo performances he is a player that has something to offer for the team and with the knowledge that if you don’t “work your socks off” and are not consistent then you will be on the bench. I also like the idea of playing him as a striker. We all know he can score he’s quick, tricky and would probably be more of a nightmare for the big central defenders then the nippy, agile smaller wing backs. To me it’s a no brainer. Laca does not look like he’s gonna get many more goals between now and the end of season. Give him the opportunity! Between martenilli, Saka, smith Rowe, odegaard and Pepe they would truly terrorize any defence.

  6. I’m not sure what new “questions will be asked if we sell him for a massive loss”, that’s going to happen whether it’s this summer or some time in the future

    I think it’s a pretty common thought that we paid too much for him, whatever questions remain on that may never be answered and it doesn’t matter now anyway, it is what it is, it’s gone

    The market has become depressed anyway, not least because of COVID and we have shown in recent times we aren’t too bothered about sales income/profit as much as if a player doesn’t fit try to get them off the wage bill

    I think Pepe does fit, he’s a good player who has an active part in this season’s squad and I think will do again next season myself

  7. Why is that people keep going on about the 72M fee as if Pépé had anything to do with it? the people who agreed to pay that fee should be investigated,simple as.

  8. if 3 years now down the line he cant speak English he needs to go, MA speaks like 5 different languages
    and its still a issue for Pepe?

    move on son, its a shame though, he can be amazing and then be bottom of the barrel next game…

    in all fairness to Pepe, he wasnt wanted by the manager in charge when we signed him, that was sure to give him confidence at that time right?

    If he was played more back then, he might be the player we thought he could be by now.

    But, we shall see with where we finish the season if he stays or goes, one thing is for sure though, he wont be going for anywhere near as much as we shelled out for him

  9. I have several various thoughts about PEPE some related , some not.
    Firstly , if after three years he still has language difficulties , it shows his lack of effort to learn English.
    He seems to me to lack a basic understanding of what being a team player entails, as he loses the ball far too often to be a successful Prem player.
    He HAS a good eye for scoring goals, so if he is to play at all, should be tried as central striker, esp as LACA does not score goals and is fading fast, despite working hard.

    It was not his fault that we paid three times what he was worth, which was extremely foolish of Sanllehi.

    Most importantly, as MA hardly ever uses him, except as a late sub, I much doubt he will now ever make the grade we need, despite definitely having talent.

    Not all talented players make it; all who do need areal football brain and a work ethic to die for. IMO, he lacks that and I feel he will be moved on, though only in good time and PERHAPS NOT even this summer.

  10. Herr Dier

    Such a clause in a contract is not on herd of, it all depends on that particular team and the kind of player the club willing to give that trust.

    Think Chelsea did it to West Ham not so long ago maybe just two seasons ago if am correct.

    It’s may sound terrible, but here is an example,
    What if we were offer Mo Sala with the same arrangement wouldn’t it be a risk worth taking ?

    Remember you dont have to play him if he should suddenly stop scoring.

    Maybe Norwich would grab Nico Pepe with both hands

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