Ex-Arsenal striker Kevin Campbell believes Gunners boss Mikel Arteta will eventually decide to sell Nicolas Pepe.
When asked last week about the possibility of offloading the club’s record signing in the January transfer window, Arteta was adamant that it would not happen. However, Campbell believes the club overpaid for the Ivorian international and they may consider selling the player, who has been usurped by the likes of Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe:
“This is a really tough season for Nicolas Pepe. He’s played a lot of games for Arsenal now – he’s done okay, but that consistency just hasn’t been there. When you’ve got two youngsters from the academy who are starting games and being more productive than you, putting in a better shift – then the writing’s on the wall for Pepe. The price tag was obviously inflated, and he will only have two seasons left on his contract after this one. If he doesn’t secure a first-team place, then I can see Arsenal cashing in. You don’t know what you’re going to get from Pepe in terms of goals, assists, and productivity. That’s why they will probably choose to move him on.”
Considering that Gabriel Martinelli was chosen by Arteta to replace the injured Saka in the second half of the 2-0 win over Newcastle on Saturday, it does suggest that Pepe is well down the pecking order at the moment.
A move to Italy has been touted in recent weeks, with AC Milan and Juventus reportedly keen on the 26-year-old and, although Arteta has played down the speculation, you have to think that Arsenal will consider reasonable bids for the player.