In a recent interview with Football Insider, ex-Arsenal forward Kevin Campbell tipped his former club to cash in on Nicolas Pepe who is having a tough season at the North London club. Campbell said,
“This is a really tough season for Nicolas Pepe.
“He’s played a lot of games for Arsenal now – he’s done okay, but that consistency just hasn’t been there.
“When you’ve got two youngsters from the academy who are starting games and being more productive than you, putting in a better shift – then the writing’s on the wall for Pepe.
“The price tag was obviously inflated, and he will only have two seasons left on his contract after this one. If he doesn’t secure a first-team place, then I can see Arsenal cashing in.
“You don’t know what you’re going to get from Pepe in terms of goals, assists, and productivity. That’s why they will probably choose to move him on.”
Pepe’s Lack Of First-Team Opportunities At The Emirates Stadium
Pepe has struggled to secure regular playing time in English football so far in this campaign but has done well to put in a few eye-catching displays for the Gunners. The Ivory Coast international has registered one goal and three assists in nine matches for the North London outfit this season across all fronts.
The 26-year-old has given a good account of himself whenever he has been called into action based on his average of 2.1 shots, 1.6 key passes and 1.9 dribbles per 90 minutes in the Premier League. He has even been accurate when distributing the ball from the wide areas, as evidenced by his pass success rate of 84.3% in top-flight football (stats via whoscored).
Should Arsenal Boss Mikel Arteta Cash In On Pepe?
Pepe is a quick and agile wide player who can make some decent runs with the ball out on the flanks. He can get himself into a few dangerous areas in the final third and is proficient at delivering some inviting crosses into the opponent’s penalty box.
The 28-time Ivory Coast international can whip in some inviting goal-scoring opportunities for others around him and is not afraid to have a shot at goal when afforded time and space by the opposition. However, things have not worked out for the Ivorian sensation at the Emirates Stadium.
Therefore, Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta would be wise to listen to Campbell’s advice by cashing in on him next summer unless the player can turn his fortunes around for the better over the next few months.