The four clubs interested in a January move for Arsenal’s Nicolas Pepe revealed
Nicolas Pepe’s Arsenal struggles
One thing that is very clear about Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal is that he likes predictability and control.
Those are two things that the club’s record signing Nicolas Pepe does not offer them. Pepe, a goal threat who specialises in taking on his man and individual moments of brilliance, has seen his game time suffer as a result.
While probably not expected to have been coming off the bench during his side’s 4-0 hammering at the hands of Liverpool, the failure to do so meant that in the last four Premier League games, the Ivorian has seen just 5 minutes of action.
With two years left on his contract come this summer, a decision will have to be made on his future, and it is unlikely that any decision made will ultimately prove the 72 million pounds that Arsenal paid Lille for his services good value for money.
Clubs circle for Pepe- should Arsenal sell?
Now, a fourth club have reportedly entered the race for Pepe’s signature, should Arsenal be looking to offload him.
It was already reported that a trio of Premier League clubs, in the form of Newcastle, Everton and Crystal Palace, were interested in taking the winger on loan with an option to buy in January.
As per Italian reports, AC Milan have also joined the hunt for his signature, with the Serie A outfit currently short of options capable of playing on the right-hand side of their attack.
Of course, Pepe will be jetting off on international duty for the Africa Cup of Nations for much of January, which will further reduce his time available for either the Gunners or a potential new side.
In Gabriel Martinelli too, Arteta has a player that is not getting the minutes that he probably deserves to get, by virtue of the good form of Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe in the wide berths, and the change to a 442 formation.
At 26 years old, it is hard to see a scenario where Pepe is happy with his current situation, or indeed where Arsenal are happy with their record signing remaining on the bench.
Could they be tempted to draw a line under it and sell?
On the other hand, of course, should injuries or fatigue catch up with either of the current first-choice options, Pepe is a nice choice to have to turn to, and with the loaning of Reiss Nelson, it is he or Martinelli that could occupy the wide berths.
It is a tricky decision, but one that Arsenal will have to make come January.