Ivory Coast have confirmed that Arsenal winger Nicolas Pepe did withdraw from international duty this week because of an injury.
It had been reported that the Gunners and the national side had agreed that the 24-year-old would not play in the friendlies against Benin and Tunisia so he could work on building up his fitness, but a statement from the FA said that the player joined up with the squad carrying an injury:
“Nicolas Pepe, injured in (his) club, came to report his injury on Wednesday late afternoon.”
The problem isn’t said to be serious and the forward is expected to play against Watford a week on Sunday following the international break.
Pepe has struggled with fitness issues at the start this campaign and was not available to start in the first two league games against Newcastle and Burnley after arriving back late to pre-season following his exploits at the African Cup of Nations.
Fans have had to be patient with their £72m record signing and they will be hoping that he’ll be up to full speed when they travel to Vicarage Road for their next match.