Mikel Arteta and Edu told what to do with ‘disappointing’ Arsenal player signed by Unai Emery
Arsenal should part ways with club record signing Nicolas Pepe after a ‘really disappointing’ spell in north London, according to former Leeds striker Noel Whelan.
Whelan claims a fee of around £25 million could tempt the Gunners into selling the Ivorian winger, who they purchased for £72 million in 2019.
Pepe has been an unused substitute in Arsenal’s last three fixtures with Emile Smith-Rowe and Bukayo Saka firmly establishing themselves as the club’s preferred options on the wings.
The 26-year-old Ivory Coast international has scored once all season and Whelan believes Pepe has struggled to adapt to the rigours of Premier League football.
“He’s been really disappointing at Arsenal, for me,” Whelan told Football Insider.
“He came in with big hopes, promised to be a really exciting player but he just hasn’t really shown it at all.
“Doing it in France is one thing but doing it in the Premier League is completely different. It’s the toughest league in the world.
“He’ll be the first one to say it’s not worked out. I think around £25million is probably around the right amount to get him out with a clean break – that would be good for all parties.”
The Gunners travel to Manchester United on Thursday, and may be without Saka after he went off with an injury during the weekend’s win over Newcastle.
Mikel Arteta opted to bring on Gabriel Martinelli to replace the England winger instead of Pepe, and his faith in the Brazilian youngster was rewarded after he scored the second goal in the 2-0 victory over Eddie Howe’s side.
It’s believed that the club aren’t desperate to offload Pepe in January, however the winger will be unavailable for the majority of the month as he will be representing his country at the African Cup of Nations.
If the Gunners do opt to cash in on the Ivorian, they already have a ready made replacement at the club in Martinelli
Pepe joined Arsenal in the summer of 2019 for a club record-fee of £72 million, and in total he has scored 25 goals in 98 games during his time at the Emirates.