Nicolas Pepe is claimed to have hired a new agent to find him a move away from Arsenal this summer, but where did it all go wrong the former Lille forward?
The Ivory Coast international arrived in north London with huge potential, having joined on the back of a massive season in Ligue 1 where he notched up 21 goals and 11 assists for Lille, but it has been anything but plain-sailing since.
He struggled under Unai Emery initially, but looked to have found a new lease of life when Arteta took over the helm, helping us to win the FA Cup with a goal contribution in each of the quarter-final, semi-final and final (one goal and two assists), as well as picking up three goals and three assists in the league also.
For whatever reason, when the new season came around Pepe had seemingly lost his place in the starting line-up, and found much of his minutes coming in the Europa League and cup competitions, and even when starring in Europe, he would still lose his place when PL football returned. Once again when the final few months of the season was upon us however, he seemed to once again find a way to break into the manager’s plans and the move paid off with a number of performances. The same scenario repeated with him finding himself benched at the start of the next season also however, but this time, he has had very few minutes at all to try and prove his worth to the side.
The 26 year-old is now claimed to have tasked his new agent with finding him a move away from the club, as reported by Football.London, which will no doubt mean we are set to take a massive loss on the club record fee we shelled out to sign him for, with two more instalments still to pay on that deal.
I can’t help but feel that Pepe could have been used somewhat, instead of relying on our exuberance of youth, with some experience needed when push comes to shove, and he has previously shown that he can show his best when the final months of the campaign come by.
He was one of the players of the tournament at the AFCON, and the boss even admitted that he had returned full of confidence, but he rarely gave him more than 15 minutes to try and use it, and I can’t help but feel like we failed him, and we failed ourselves in doing so.
Do you think that Pepe could have helped our bid to finish in the top-four? Why didn’t he get the chance to continue his form on his return to north London? Could we not have at least protected our investment by giving him a fair amount of minutes?
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