Should Arsenal use Pepe as an impact sub rather than ripping up his contract?

Pepe – Use or lose? by Dan Smith

It’s been leaked that Arsenal would be willing to rip up Nicolas Pepe’s contract if they can’t get a transfer offer.

Whoever has shared this information is being harmful, and at the very least is costing the club money.

Why would any interested parties submit a bid, when they know the Gunners will eventually pay the player to leave so they can reduce their wage bill?

8 goals and 1 assist don’t seem enough to have convinced Nice to make our loan agreement a permanent one.

Mikel Arteta has proven countless times he won’t be motivated by the fear of losing value on an individual, if he feels a talent doesn’t suit his ethos, he will wash his hands of them.

The loan to Ligue one was not set up for Pepe to prove anyone wrong, it was simply a way to get help to pay his salary.

I think the 28-year-old would be a better option off the bench then a Reiss Nelson, and even if the club pretended they were willing to consider that option, it increases the amount we might receive.

Given our history of cancelling contracts it’s kind of showing others our cards.

Whether our manager should be allowed to just wash his hands of our record signing is another debate?

Trying to avoid paying him his final year wages isn’t a one-off at the Emirates. Ozil, Sokratis, Kolasinac, Mustafi, Bellerin, Willian and Aubameyang all negotiated deals being cancelled once they were frozen out.

Guendouzi, Torreira, Mari and Maitland Niles were all loaned out because of our rush to save money.

If you could cite this down to one person’s bad attitude, that can happen, but we can almost field an entire 11 released or sold at a cut price.

I understand that Josh Kroenke, Arteta, Edu and the BFG sat down and reviewed all areas of the club, and clearly previous regimes made errors in terms of recruitment.

It’s noble that our owners are essentially willing to write off money, take the hit, and essentially give up on those who don’t meet their managers principles. You can’t back a manager more than that?

Yet have we taken this too far?

Have we allowed Arteta to think that this is standard practice? When in reality one of his jobs should be to get the best out of the resources he has at his disposal?

If we use Pepe as an example, if he had been an impact sub last year in North London would his value now be higher?

With 12 months left on his deal, couldn’t his pace be our plan B instead of just giving him away.

Arsenal seem to not care about a transfer fee for Pepe, they just seem to want to avoid having to carry on paying him 140,000 pound a week.

Do you agree Gooners?

Or should we be trying get the best out of him and train him to be better?


Tags Nicolas Pepe


  1. Dan Its irrelevant what ANY of us thinks, as the REALITY is that for 100% certainty, Pepe is finished at Arsenal for all time. At whatever cost, MA WILL force him out this summer. CORRECTLY TOO.

    I am fully prepared to wager money that this player will never play again in any competitive game wearing our shirt.

    1. And we have again committed another mistake by not selling ESR when we received 40mil bid. This yr no club will pay that sort of money and he is not having any game time at Arsenal, so has his down spiraling already started?

      1. Wasn’t ESR talked about as part of a Declan Rice deal?
        It makes financial sense that Arsenal could justify spending the £100mil. on Rice by receiving £40mil. in return?

  2. I think he would make a great striker.

    Pepe is not a troublemaker and talented. Arteta cannot hide on this one other than admit he has failed to coach him or utilize his talent.

    Great managers like Wenger and Ferguson knew how to channel player’s stubbornness into improving their games.

    Lesser managers run away from the problem (or responsibility).

    One can cite Pep tendency to do this but even though he is successful he use his authority to inspire fear instead of respect. He may win every trophy under the sun with unlimited budget he always get but he if forever going to be below the managers I have mentioned.

    Make them respect you and play for the badge then you are elite manager. Use your authority to run away from them and you can never reach the level of greats.

    1. @HH
      Might as well add to the list Lukaku, Pogba, Torres, Morata, Sanchez, Sancho, Diego Forlan etc.

      And I keep asking. How come Pepe has failed under Emery, Arteta and on loan?

      You know managers are not supernatural beings that will turn any average player into a serious player? Right?

      Sometime a player works out and sometimes doesn’t. Can take a donkey to a water well but can’t force it to drink the water.

      Same with managers, sometimes they work out sometimes thet don’t. Check Chelsea and Spurs out for evidence..

      1. Yes those players their managers failed to utilize them. Pepe is neither the first nor the last.

        That is the point. Arteta fails to coach some and manage the others. He bought some good players and bought useless players.

        That is the point.

        He make mistakes same as all managers. We support him fully and praise his achievements as well as criticizing his blunders.

        So I don’t understand why some take it their life purpose to defend his shortcomings as if he is operating on divine revelation.

        1. @HH
          So Fergie failed the likes or Diego Forlan? What about all those other players that did not reach their potential in Fergies 27 years as the Man United manager? Bebe, Morrison, Djemba Djemba, etc?
          And do you want me list those under wenger?
          So did those two managers fail all those players that did not improve?

          Arteta reminds me of a baby taking it’s first steps. All you want to do is encourage that baby, make sure you remove all the distractions so that the baby can only focus and concentrate on making it’s first steps.. He seems to be taking us back to the Top while the Anti Arteta crowd continues to try to destabilise the whole thing.

          I am defending Arteta because he continues to hit my targets I set each season. As long Arteta is doing a good job then will keep defending him when warranted and continue to engage with those that can’t seem to accept that Arteta is still an Arsenal manager.

          They just want to destabilise the whole progress we are making..

      2. To say he fail under Emery I don’t wish for him to end at Aston Villa because we are going to rue the day!

      3. Goonster, his record in goal contributions in goals and assists for mnutes played, does not support the view that Pepe is a “failure”. His season on loan in France was impacted by injury, yet he contributed.
        Admin Pat, I also believe he should be retained and used as an impact sub. Arsenal would have been stronger if Pepe had been available to Arsenal for selection last season.
        Unfortunately once Arteta takes a dislike to you, you are gone.

  3. “I think the 28-year-old would be a better option off the bench then a Reiss Nelson”
    Can’t agree with this one Dan. I could agree if you said you believed Pepe is a better player, or would score more goals over the course of a season, but if there’s one thing Nelson had shown, it’s that he’s very good off the bench.
    It’s not as simple as who the better player is, it’s about reading the game and being able to get into it immediately. It’s not a common ability, which is why I’ve been so impressed with Nelson this season, and why I wanted him to stay

    1. @ Davi
      I would say both are equal off the bench.
      Reiss is better in the winger position whilst Pepe is better in the striker position.

      1. I’ve not seen that from Pepe. I would also love to see how Pepe plays as a striker, but as far as I know it’s never been tried. I could imagine him being really good in an old style front 2, but i struggle to see it in a front 3. He needs a counter attacking side to get the best from him.

      1. Have to agree with you. I don’t understand the clamour you re-sign him. Nelson seems like a good lad who tries hard and that will get you a long way, but ultimately he is limited in ability and should be sold. Pepe is a far superior player who hasn’t been trusted or tried properly.

      2. He’s made a difference every time I’ve seen him, which admittedly isn’t many – but how many has Pepe?

        1. that’s weird thing , he came off the bench and changed the game against Wolves and then it didn’t seem like he got another chance

  4. Pepe is another example of a badly managed talent. MA just doesn’t like him. It’s as simple as that. How can anybody tell me that 48 goal contributions in 67 starts or 112 appearances is a flop for a winger in the Premier League? How has similar “expensive” wingers at MANU or Chelsea performed in comparison? Similarly, Pepe’s contributions in League 1 last season is respectable by every standard. So it’s is MA and some biased journos that are actively seeking to devalue, demoralised and destroy the guy’s career for reasons only known to them. Few, if any, of the wingers Arsenal are trying to buy now are anywhere as talented as Pepe. I’ll leave Arsenal for my own sanity if I were Pepe. There sure will be a manager out there that would value him.

    1. When a player can’t fit into the way the manager wants his team to play, then it’s best for all parties for the player to leave.

      1. So so simple Herr Drier
        It’s a pity for Pepe but c’est la vie. It happens every season to any number of players who don’t fit the vision of the manager

        1. Very true SueP. As you say, managers do it all the time, but it seems Arteta is in the wrong with some people. One wonders if these people actually understand the way Arteta wants his team to play.

    2. Again, Emery failed too. He was on loan at Nice and what happened there? If Arteta has failed to manager him then Emery and Nice also failed him too because they couldn’t get the best out if him. That’s 3 managers.

      Saliba goes on loan to Marseille and flourishes.

      Willock goes on loan to Newcastle and flourishes.

      Nelson went on loan and did fine.

      Balogan goes out on loan and proves himself.

      ESR went on loan and did okay.

      Guendouzi went in loan and did great.

      Nketia went on loan before and did well for himself.

      Odegaard came to Arsenal on loan and proved himself.

      May be Pepe is his own problem? He is 28 years old. He should be perfoming better, but people still talk about him like he is some 21 year old rookie that is new to the league and club. He is turning 29 year od age at the end of next season.

      Time to take some responsibility for his own career. No one is going to babysit him. And this goes towards any player or a normal working person. Feeling sorry and pity for yourself will get you nowhere. Blaming everyone and everything around you but yourself is only detrimental to your own progress.

      1. Sorry to disagree Goonster, but Nketiah’s loans, particularly in the Championship with Leeds, were underwhelming. He misses the target more times than not (can’t hit the side of a barn), despite his good lead up play

    3. The world has failed Pepe!! Everyone is biased against him!
      Despite Arsenal making him available, for some reason those numpties at MC, Liverpool, Bayern, Madrid, Barcelona etc. cannot see that this is a generational player that they should be fighting over,

      1. @David
        It’s so draining this same old catchphrase these people keep using.
        All these players that dictator / talent killer Arteta let down and not babysat in order to realise their true potential.

        They’ve been using the same talking point as far back as 2020. They just recycle it whenever any of their favourite player fails to perform. Then they start to gather sympathy, pity for that player. Then that player becomes a victim of the grim ripper (Arteta). 😊

  5. He had his last chance in France and he blew it, so I don’t think Arsenal would keep him

    1. It’s funny though isn’t it
      Some were asking us to ignore Maitland Niles failed loans but Pepe scores 8 goals in France and he’s a flop

      1. He only appeared in nineteen Ligue 1 games, scored six league goals and didn’t produce any assist

        1. He was involved in 19 league games, playing 1,526 minutes….which is the equivalent of 17 full games.

          In those games he got 8 goals and he did get an assist. So 9 goal involvements in 17 games worth of minutes.

          Not great but certainly not terrible like people suggest.

          1. According to Transfer Markt, he only scored six league goals from nineteen appearances. His unavailability would likely force Arsenal to sell him

  6. @gotanidea,
    How did Pepe blow his chance in France with 8 goals and 1 assist? Did Jesus blow his chance at Arsenal last season?, Seeing they both had injuries?

    1. Pepe only appeared in nineteen Ligue 1 games, scored six league goals and didn’t produce any assist

      Jesus appeared in 26 EPL games, scored eleven league goals and produced six assists. We can’t say he was prolific for a striker, but his high-pressing effort was one of the best at Arsenal

  7. Another “antiArteta” article Dan, or just saying it as it is?

    In reality, there is only one man who can sanction this kind of mind boggling loss and that’s Stan Kronkie – how many more players will he be prepared to let go and lose millions on?

    As it’s not my money, it doesn’t mean much to me, but the club being known to devalue it’s own assets, is not a good image to have is it?

    1. 👍 ken, when it comes to asset management of players, Arsenal has a long way to go. How many players bought high, have been sold on a profit, compared to being allowed to leave on a free?

  8. In 2021/22 Season, Pepe proved to be an impact sub but that was his best chance. He is nowhere near that record as his loan spell has proved.

    1. Goonster, tthis has to be the way regardless of what any of us think. A manager suceeds or fails on these decisions, plus the level of backing from the ownership and Board.

  9. I don’t have any issues with him coming back and used off the bench but I don’t think MA wants him here. So may be better to cut our losses

      1. HH, then at least in my case, you plainly have not bothered to read my post made some hours earlier on this thread. At the very top of this thread in fact.

        1. I meant Vieira. Some fans have made it their mission to come in defense of Arteta whenever he is questioned or criticized. Because Arteta doesn’t want Pepe then they scour the whole galaxy to find excuse why Pepe is a bad player. But he wants Vieira so they will scour the galaxy again to find reasons why Vieira was the buy of the century.

          If Pepe doesn’t deserve to wear Arsenal shirt why does Vieira?

          Far greater, successful and better managers have been criticized, questioned and have made blunders.

          Alex Ferguson have made mistakes, Wenger have made them too and all great managers in history.

          Some of these fans criticize Wenger and they will continue to do so until their last breaths despite all he has achieved and done for the club but can’t accept criticism of Arteta.

          Why do they do this? This is not a normal human behaviour. I simply cannot understand it! Sigh!

          1. You need to come up with something better than that if you are going to single me out with a handful of others HH
            I am frequently told that it’s about opinions on JA. You hero worship Wenger who I also consider to be a great manager who overstayed by a couple of years but you are completely over the top. It is your opinion of course.
            I think that Arteta is doing a pretty good job so far and that is mine. When it goes Pete Tong I’ll be holding up my hands to say so myself

            1. Mr HH is simply trying to muddy the waters by bringing other contentious issues into a debate about Pepe. You will also note that he and others misrepresent the views of others or create ‘straw men’ in order to further their agenda.
              Many would agree that Pepe has talent but for whatever reason he has not really progressed given what was expected of him a few years ago. That some continue to primarily blame Arteta is quite remarkable.
              Now people are arguing for someone who should already be an established senior player, and has yet to fully convince, to now come back and compete as an impact player.

              1. My point is and by the way you have all just proven it, why you all feel the need to defend Arteta wherever he has made mistake? Read all comments and the ones I have mentioned as usual have come in unison in defense.

                What is the need for that?

                Just two days ago, you came in defense of him against AMN and Saliba who Mikel in his own words admitted to have made a mistake. And today Pepe.

                Why do you feel you have to lie to yourselves that he is not making mistakes?

                Why? Why? Why? I need to know that.

                1. Who the hell is lying to themselves?
                  I ‘m not as I have already written that Arteta regretted not keeping Saliba. How many times do I have to write it for you to believe it?
                  The reality is that I think that Arteta has done more good than not. A lot more good than not. That doesn’t mean that I think that he hasn’t made errors. I don’t actually think that Arteta made a mistake with AMN or Pepe. My opinion and nothing to do with being deluded and I can think for myself 🙂

                2. The long standing problem you have HH, is that you think with emotion, instead of with logic.

                  That is why you regularly misinterpret the posts of others, esp of those who are not , unlike your self, stuck in the past with your persistent hero worship of Wenger , who left our club five years since. You need to be able to moveon in your thinking and with great vrespect, I suggest that you TRY your level best to think logically and to read posts from other Gooners-Sue P BEING JUST ONE PRIME EXAMPLE- without undue emotional overreaction to what you, often wrongly, perceive they mean.

                  Logic in thinking beats emotion only , however admirable emotion undoubtedly IS, every time.

                  I hope you many choose to accept this sound advice in the spirit of honest intention to help you, in which it is truly meant.

                  Imagine if all managers everywher made desions based on personal emotion only, instead of using real LOGIC,. how poor their clubs results would be.

    1. That’s a good point Dan kit. At least we won’t see Pepe tripping over a blade of grass

    2. Even Elneny that the coach had extended his contract twice without contributing nothing. It is has Stephanie stated Arteta doesn’t want him here.

      1. Yes, and plainly Arteta does NOT want Pepe here at any cost , after all his chances to prove himself and failing so utterly.

        Most of all MA wants only FULLOUT TRYERS and PEPE has proven himself unable to give full out effort.

        And FULL OUT EFFORT is a basic requirement of all clubs, with all their players.

        Which is WHY we got rid of Ozil and Auba, ALBEIT FAR TOO LATE, IN BOTH CASES.

  10. We all know what pepe can do in European football with arsenal back in champions league I would rather sell nketiah than terminating Pepe’s contract

    1. He didn’t do much in the Europa League for Nice last season. 2 goals in 8 games to be precise.

  11. Pepe is a lazy player and an ineffective dribbler who does not fit the high-press high-tempo game Arteta wants. We want to build a EPL and CL winning squad and we should aim at improving the squad and getting player who can give us intensity. Wingers who don’t track back and kill off 10 attacks a game with unnecessary dribbles are not what we need, even if they can score a goal here and there. And Pepe is not a 20yo who can be molded, he is 28 and not going to change.

    1. A person who talks sense
      We have written the debt off over a number years and if it was over 4 years equates to approx £18m Showing on the books
      Let’s move on and wish him all the best For his future

  12. No thanks. If you can’t up our game when a 19 year old is about to take your place in the team, you have no place in ambitious elite team. He doesn’t have the right mentality. Nelson over Pepe any day!

    1. dont know
      Pepe’s worst season for us was better then anything Reiss Neslon has managed so far

  13. My take is, sell him at any price if suitors come. Keep him as a back up player if they didn’t come. At least, he can make an impression than Viera. Am against paying him off.

  14. Reiss Nelson proved himself off the bench. Pepe has proved he has not got what it takes. No brainer….Pepe has to go.

  15. Pepe should be sold to one of two clubs in Saudi Arabia that have shown an interest.
    Arsenal would be able to salvage a minimal fee and significantly ease the burden on the wage bill.

  16. I read comments about Pepe and it’s funny, our asset management is horrible and Arteta thinks his in city where he buys everything he wants and throw away any player he wishes to, but I understand having come from city to us, he must have learnt that very well… A Wenger scores 8 in 17 almost1 goal every 2game and he is a flop because Arteta doesn’t want him around the emirates, how he convinces the club to keep ripping contracts away and allowing players to leave for nothing is still mind blowing for me

    1. @Gun down
      It’s not his money, that’s why he doesn’t give a rat’s bum about cancelling contracts.

  17. Cancelling contracts and paying players to leave makes no sense to me. Use Pepé, he can be an alternative to Saka when he goes missing like we saw in large parts of last season. Anyway, I accept Arteta’s witch-hunt for Emery-affiliated players knows no limits, he has even found a way to force out Tierney who has been our best LB in years.

  18. I find it depressing that so many of our non realistic fans who still see a role for Pepe at Arsenal, plainly seem not to care at all, that IF we are to challenge for the title again, we CANNOT POSSIBLY AFFORD to keep such a non good enough player at our club.

    REALISTS are well aware of this fact and I am heartened to find a number of them on this thread.

    All the above is entirely academic anyway as , thankfully, MA IS A REALIST and Pepe WILL be on his bike this summer, for 100% CERTAINTY.

  19. As poorly suited to the Premier League as Pepe undoubtedly is…Im not sure he’s actually that much worse than Kai Havertz…
    So here we are…a Club that has finally begun to compete in the EPL once again and we’re about to bin a player who was a waste of nearly £100m all told and replace him with another one…Based upon the principal that Arteta can suceed where Tuchel,Potter and Lampard failed.Arteta is obviously stsrting to succumb to “Wenger Delusion”…The unfortunate disease which takes a good coaching brain and starts making it think that you can turn any underachieving player into a Bergkamp or an Henry!….You would think that Edu and Arteta would have learnt by now that its virtually impossible to turn a player like this around.We laugh at the ridiculously unsuitable players Chelsea have bought over the last year and then we go out and fall into the same trap with much less in the way of available funds.

    1. JOEL, bound to say that I see much truth in your post.

      No manager, no matter who, not PEP, not AW, not Fergie and not MA, can turn a sows ear into a silk purs. REALISTS have long realised that truth.

  20. Just hope some other club haven’t ever seen Pepe play and offer the £8mil. he’s due this season and move on….

    Or offer him as part of any deal for incoming players and get his contract off the books.

  21. The JA silly season has arrived. Evidence? That JA has this three days old article and presented it again as a current one, which it is NOT.
    Scraping the barrel Ad PAT!

    Well, I will help you out with an article about Kroenke I’ll send in very soon, probably tomorrow.

    1. What on earth are you talking about. You are commenting on a 3 day old article. When did it suddenly become new again????

      1. It appeared under the most commented section instead of under the older ones But it attracted NO post since June 15, UNTIL Brians at12.42 and my own at 12.45, before I saw Brians..

        Its NOT new and you know that perfectly well. Which is WHY its the “silly season”, exactly as I said.

        1. The “most commented” section is worked out the comments over the last week, and is ONLY sorted by the amount of comments in that week.
          It does NOT mean its been re-posted, now can you STOP your “silly season” loony conspiracy theories and character assasinations of other readers and simply TALK ABOUT FOOTBALL!

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