Speaking ahead of his side’s Premier League clash against strugglers Newcastle United on Saturday afternoon, Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has weighed in on the current speculation surrounding out-of-sorts attacker Nicolas Pepe.
Pepe, 26, joined the Gunners in 2019 following a whopping £72m move from French side Lille.
Despite the bumper move and the Ivorian being tipped to become one of England’s most devastating attackers, the 26-year-old’s two years in London has so far failed to live up to expectations.
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Having featured in 98 matches, in all competitions, Pepe has managed to score just 25 goals – although not a bad return, for a player worth over £70m, Arsenal fans would have certainly been hoping for a bit more.
In light of what has been a difficult two seasons, recent links have emerged suggesting the African could be set to move on.
However, addressing those rumours, manager Arteta has unanimously ruled out the prospect of seeing Pepe leaving the club anytime soon.
Speaking to reporters about Pepe’s future at the Emirates, Arteta said: “We are interested in Nico performing at the level that he can do.
“He has had some really good moments since I have been here. Some moments where he hasn’t participated that much, like everybody else – it’s part of football and it’s part of the role you should have at any football team.”
When pressed for an answer on whether or not the Gunners would consider selling Pepe, Arteta said: “No, and it’s not the moment to talk about that either.”