Pepe has not made an appearance for Arsenal’s senior team in a competitive capacity since May 2022. It seems clear that Arsenal want to remove him from their playing squad – therefore, a transfer away to another club appears to be the best option available at this point.
However, some fans may be concerned at the Ivorian leaving on a free – especially when it is considered how much Arsenal bought him for.
Will Arsenal miss the services of Nicolas Pepe?
In a word – no. Arsenal will be far better off without having Pepe on their books – not only was he an expensive player to purchase, with a reported transfer fee of £72 million, he is also thought to be on a wage of £140,000 per week.
For a player with such limited output – he has scored just 16 goals in 80 games for the Gunners – these numbers are far too expensive for what he actually offers to the team.
Pepe spent the 2022/23 season out on loan at Nice. He had a decent stint with the Ligue 1 outfit, scoring eight goals in 28 games, but he did little to convince Mikel Arteta that he still belongs in the senior squad.
It is very difficult to envision Pepe getting first team football at Arsenal currently – especially when he has to compete with the likes of Bukayo Saka, Leandro Trossard and Gabriel Martinelli, all of whom outperformed him in the previous campaign.
Why Nicolas Pepe was a flop at Arsenal
For all of Pepe’s flair and skills, he showed little beyond this. He possessed excellent pace and supreme technical ability, but he often appeared to be at a loss in terms of how he should use them.
He is the stereotypical ‘highlight reel’ player. When watching his best moments, he looks like a world-beater – but when you observe him over the course of 90 minutes, it quickly becomes evident just how infrequent his moments of magic actually are.
In the Premier League, flair players cannot get by on trickery alone – they must back it up with other attributes, which Pepe is lacking in.