Arsenal record signing Nicolas Pepe is attracting interest from Premier League sides Crystal Palace, Everton and Newcastle United with the Gunners open to selling.
According to Jeunex Footeux, Premier League clubs are circling for Nicolas Pepe as Arsenal prepare to part ways with their record signing. The Ivorian has dropped down the pecking order, and the north London side are already looking for replacements.
Nicolas Pepe was supposed to galvanise Arsenal’s attack and provide a solid threat in front of the goal. The Ivorian became the north London side’s record signing after completing a £72 million move from LOSC Lille in the summer of 2019.
Pepe has provided quality in patches but never consistently challenged to become an unstoppable forward at Arsenal. After starting life brightly, he helped the team win the FA Cup, although he has frustrated the fans and manager Mikel Arteta with inconsistent displays. The expectations with the Ivorian remained high at the start of the current season, given how well he finished the previous campaign, scoring five goals in the last three games.
However, this term, Arteta has tweaked his tactics and style, preferring to play Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka on either wing, leaving Pepe to warm the bench. In Arsenal’s last three Premier League games, the Ivorian managed only five minutes in total, which has led to the media speculating about his future at the club.
Some recent reports suggested Arsenal might be prepared to part ways with Pepe as soon as January. With the quality of the player still highly regarded, many clubs are expected to make their interest known and could be ready to spend even in January. The Gunners are already linked with replacements, while reports of a swap deal with Juventus involving Dejan Kulusevski emerging.
While those stories can be just rumours, for now, it certainly indicates the north London side’s desire to recruit in Pepe’s position. The latest speculation around the winger sees him get linked with Crystal Palace, Everton and Newcastle United. These are really good teams on the rise, who might attract Pepe, who is also not on heavy wages at the Emirates.
Starting with Everton, Rafael Benitez is expected to have money to spend and could be open to signing a quality attacker like Pepe. The Toffees have lacked quality depth on the right-wing all season, and the arrival of the Ivorian will surely shore up their options in the final third.
Meanwhile, Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira would certainly like Pepe’s flair into his attacking side. The Frenchman certainly has options in Jordan Ayew, Wilfried Zaha and Michael Olise. But the Arsenal star could add more speed and directness to the team, turning them into a more dangerous unit.
Finally, Newcastle, linked with so many players since their takeover, can add Pepe to that list. The Magpies are certainly looking to add some high profile names in January to stave off the relegation threat and could be ready to pay whatever Arsenal demands.
Pepe may have been benched for Arsenal’s last three games. However, the Ivorian could yet play a crucial role in the rest of the season, although if he continues to languish on the sidelines, a move away could make sense for the pacy winger.