Sunday, August 14, 2022

Arsenal Winger Gathering Interest From Everton And West Ham: Should Arteta Cut Him Loose?

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

In a recent report, Fichajes claimed that Arsenal winger Nicolas Pepe is gathering interest from Everton and West Ham United this summer. It is understood that the Gunners outcast has caught the attention of the Toffees and the Hammers along with Leicester City and Sevilla in this off-season.

Pepe’s Diminishing Influence At The Emirates Stadium

Pepe played a sporadic role for the North London club in the previous campaign but managed to put in a few eye-catching displays for them in the final third. The France-born talent featured in 23 matches for the Gunners last season, netting three goals and earning six assists across multiple competitions.

The Ivory Coast international deserves some credit for averaging 1.2 shots, 0.6 key passes and 1.0 dribbles per game in the Premier League. He was even careful when linking up play with others around him in the opposition half, as evidenced by his pass completion rate of 83.7% in the English top tier (stats via whoscored).

Arsenal (Nicolas Pepe)
LONDON, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 24: Nicolas Pepe of Arsenal is tackled by Daniel Podence of Wolverhampton Wanderers during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Emirates Stadium on February 24, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images) The 4th Official uses images provided by the following image agency: Getty Images (https://www.gettyimages.de/) Imago Images (https://www.imago-images.de/)

Should Arsenal Boss Mikel Arteta Cut Pepe Loose This Summer?

Pepe can use his electric pace to make a few dangerous runs with the ball out on the flanks. He usually comes alive when left isolated in a 1v1 situation with his marker and can strike the ball well from long range.

The Ivory Coast sensation can even create a few decent openings for his teammates when he is playing well on the field. However, things have not worked out for him at Arsenal so far.

Hence, it makes sense for the player to seek a move away from the North London club in search of more playing opportunities in the coming seasons. At 27, the Ivory Coast wing wizard is currently playing at his prime but needs a change of scenery if he wants to make the most out of the remainder of his playing career.

Mikel Arteta has not got the luxury to offer Pepe regular game time as he can be a bit unreliable in front of the opposition goal. Thus, it makes sense for the Gunners to cut him loose and use the money generated from his potential sale to make more incoming acquisitions this summer.

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