Arsenal told to bite the bullet and get rid of £72m flop Nicolas Pepe

Arsenal told to bite the bullet and get rid of £72m flop Nicolas Pepe with Alan Smith telling his former club that they might have to take a financial ‘hit’ on the player like Mesut Ozil and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

  • The club have been told by their former player to get rid of the winger
  • Nicolas Pepe was signed from Lille for £70m in 2019 under Unai Emery
  • Ivorian has struggled to make any sort of impact since arriving from Ligue 1

Arsenal have been told to bite the bullet and get rid of Nicolas Pepe this summer by former striker Alan Smith. 

Pepe, 27, was signed for a fee close to £72m in the summer of 2019 by Unai Emery and then-head of football Raul Sanllehi but has struggled to live anywhere close to that price tag during his three years at the club. 

Speaking to the Express, Smith said clubs were finding it hard to offload unwanted stars on big contracts and as such his former team were likely going to have to take a financial hit on the player.   

The Ivorian Nicolas Pepe has struggled since arriving at Arsenal in the summer of 2019

As a lot of clubs find out, getting rid of Premier League players when they’re on such good contracts is so difficult,’ he said. Smith told Express Sport. 

‘At times, Arsenal have had to take hits on [Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang and [Mesut] Ozil just to get them out of the door. 

He went on to say: ‘Pepe is the big one because they bought him for over £70million. They’re not going to get anything like that back. Nothing like it.

Alan Smith implored Arsenal to bite the bullet this summer and get rid of Nicolas Pepe

‘It was one of the worst transfer amounts, not as bad as Lukaku but it was up there. 

‘He doesn’t appear to be [Mikel] Arteta’s cup of tea. He’s not consistent and not many coaches like that. So if they could get Pepe out of the door then that would be a bonus.’ 

Since arriving at the club, Pepe has made 80 appearances in the Premier League returning only 16 goals and nine assists. The pace of the league has often looked difficult for him while his end product has regularly infuriated Arsenal fans. 

The player has at times been linked with a move to Newcastle or back to France, but the market has often looked a difficult one for Arsenal to sell the player within. 

Mikel Arteta admitted that Arsenal’s business this window is not necessarily done

His value has plummeted and as pointed out by Smith, the club are going to receive nowhere near the fee they paid for him should they manage to offload him this summer. 

Arteta indicated earlier on Thursday that Arsenal’s transfer business – both incomings and outgoings – was not yet completed.   

‘Everything is still open, it’s a long window, a lot has happened, it’s incredible how much business the clubs have done across the Premier League and it shows how competitive it is and this season is not going to stop that,’ he said.

‘Players are going to have the need to leave, some others to move and everything is open still.’

Pepe seemingly remains one of the likeliest Arsenal players to leave the club before summer is out. 

Despite appearing for Arsenal prominently in pre-season Pepe could still be sold this summer

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