Arsenal receive embarrassingly low transfer fee for £72m signing Nicolas Pepe

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Arsenal received an embarrassingly low £3million for their once-record signing Nicolas Pepe on Thursday. Mikel Arteta finally managed to offload the outcast to Trabzonspor on the final day of the Turkish transfer window. 

Pepe has been deemed surplus to requirements since Arteta’s arrival at the Emirates Stadium. The Ivorian spent last season on loan at French club Nice. 

However, there were few offers for the winger this summer, despite strong rumours of a move to Besiktas. That deal fell through before Trabzonspor finally completed a move on Thursday. 

It concludes an underwhelming exit for a player who was once the Premier League outfit’s record signing. Arsenal paid Lille around £72m to lure him to North London in 2019. 

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Pepe initially started well under then-boss Unai Emery but soon faded, while the emergence of Bukayo Saka over the last few years halted his development. According to Get French Football News, Arsenal will now receive just £3m for the 28-year-old having tried all summer to flog him elsewhere. 

The former Angers star leaves having scored 16 goals in 80 appearances for the Gunners. He managed six strikes in 19 games during his loan spell at Nice last term, which might have led Arsenal to believe that they could receive a sizeable sum for him this summer. 

Pepe’s move comes amid criticism from some fans that Arsenal fail to receive a return in their investment on expensive stars. The Gunners have earned a net-loss of around £69m on Pepe.

Defenders Rob Holding and Pablo Mari were sold to Crystal Palace and Monza, respectively, for just £4m each. Some supporters felt that the club ought to have earned more than £15m for Granit Xhaka when the important midfielder departed for Bayer Leverkusen. 

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Arsenal raked in £25m for Folarin Balogun despite the Evening Standard claiming that the north Londoners initially asked for £50m. Balogun, who scored 23 times for Reims last term, has joined Monaco in a permanent transfer.

However, those outgoings helped Arsenal stay within Financial Fair Play restrictions over the summer. That allowed Arteta and sporting director Edu to splash out a remarkable £200m on new signings. 

A £105m move for Declan Rice meant that Pepe was no longer the club’s most expensive player. There was also the £65m signing of Kai Havertz, the £35m arrival of Jurrien Timber, and an initial loan deal for David Raya that will be made permanent next summer. 

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