Arsenal urged not to sell £72m forward this summer

By | March 22, 2022

Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta “hopes” to see forward Nicolas Pepe remain at the Emirates Stadium outfit for the long term.

The ex-Lille attacker has failed to make his mark on a consistent basis since his £72 million arrival in the summer transfer market of 2019 and has played just five Premier League matches this season.

The Ivory Coast international was briefly linked with a last-minute winter exit but ultimately remained at the club, where his existing contract is due to expire at the end of the 2023-24 term.

Arteta thinks that he has seen a “different” version of Nicolas since the player’s Africa Cup of Nations campaign, though, with Pepe claiming two goals and an assist in the competition.

When quizzed if he wanted the wide man to remain in North London by reporters, the tactician responded: “I hope he does.

“But I understand that when a player doesn’t play he is disappointed and Nico has been disappointed because he wanted to have more minutes.

“Hopefully he can play many more minutes and he can contribute to the team because he has the ability to do it.”

He has registered two goals and five assists in 12 outings this season, taking his total for Arsenal to 26 goals and 20 assists in 101 appearances across all competitions.