It has been reported that Arsenal’s new record signing Nicolas Pepe has returned from international duty with the Ivory Coast to focus on his fitness.
A statement from the nations football federation stated that Pepe turned up with an injury he had apparently picked up while playing for Arsenal.
“Nicolas Pepe, injured with his club, came in to declare it late on Wednesday afternoon, read the statement.
“As a reinforcement, the coach appealed to Bagayoko Mamadou.”
According to ITV, Pepe is already back at Arsenal’s London Colney base and will begin work on getting back to fitness in time for the Premier League clash against Watford on September 15th.
It is also being reported by ITV that this is all a pre-arranged agreement between Arsenal and the Ivorian national football federation for the 24-year-old winger to initially join up with his international teammates but not to partake in any games before returning to Arsenal at this time to resume his fitness work.
That sounds credible to me but I am sure some in the media will make a mountain out of a molehill and do some outrageous headlines.
I doubt there is anything to worry about here, the fact that the club has this agreement means they are fully aware of the issue but do not view it as something to be too concerned about, otherwise, why agree for him to meet up with his national squad?
There are nine days until Arsenal play next and it can only be a good thing that Pepe is not being risked in any competitive games and is instead focussing on his fitness under the auspices of Arsenal football club.