Arsenal fringe player Nicolas Pepe is reportedly training alone, away from the senior team, according Ian Stone on the Handbrake Off Podcast.
Pepe has become an isolated figure at the Emirates Stadium. Last season, he spent the 2022/23 campaign out on loan at Nice, where he scored eight goals and notched up two assists in 28 games across all competitions.
However, he has not made an appearance for Arsenal in a competitive capacity since May 2022, during a 5-1 victory over Everton (ironically, he also registered an assist in that game).
On the Handbrake Off Podcast, Stone said: “Nicolas Pepe is back training with the squad. Would you keep him as an option this season? He’s training alone is what I heard, which sounds so grim.”
Does Nicolas Pepe still have a place in the Arsenal team?
At this point, Arsenal have advanced far beyond what Pepe is capable of. They have plenty of talented wide players in their team, such as Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli, Reiss Nelson and Leandro Trossard.
As such, if Pepe were to remain with the Gunners, his opportunities in the first team would be very limited – he would likely be restricted to playing in minor cup competitions and appearances from the bench.
For a player of Pepe’s cost, he simply is not worth keeping around when you consider how minimal his output has been since he made the jump to Arsenal back in 2019.
Is Nicolas Pepe the biggest transfer flop in Gunners history?
To call Pepe the biggest flop in Arsenal history would perhaps be a tad harsh – but he isn’t far from it.
At £72 million, Pepe is one of the most expensive Arsenal players of all time – only Declan Rice’s monster fee of £105 million can top it.
This, when coupled with what he has actually contributed during his time in North London, makes for a pretty damning indictment of the Ivorian. All in all, he has scored just 16 goals and has racked up nine assists in his Premier League spell, across 80 appearances.
This isn’t a horrendous tally, by any means – but Gunners fans expected far more from a player who joined the club amid swathes of hype.