Arsenal boss Arteta urged to give Pepe a chance next season after loan

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has been urged to give another chance to Nicolas Pepe. The winger has spent this season out on loan but ex-Gunners right-back Emmanuel Eboue says his countryman deserves another shot at the Emirates.

Pepe remains Arsenal’s record signing following his £72million move from Lille in 2019. He has never really been able to live up to that price tag.

Pepe often saved his best performances for the Europa League under Unai Emery and Arteta. His overall record for Arsenal is not too shabby for a winger, scoring 27 goals and registering 21 assists in 112 appearances in all competitions.

He has had a mixed campaign at Nice, scoring eight times but notching just one assist in 28 outings. The Ivory Coast international still has a year remaining on his contract in north London.

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Gabriel Magalhaes assisted by Nicolas Pepe for Lille in 2019

Pepe’s high wages of around £140,000 a week could make him difficult for Arsenal to shift this summer. Eboue knows it will be tough for the 27-year-old to get into the Arsenal side ahead of the likes of Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli.

But he has pleaded with Arteta to at least have Pepe in his squad. Eboue exclusively told Ladbrokes Fanzone: “It’s going to be very hard for Nicolas Pepe to get back into this Arsenal team.

“Gabriel Martinelli and Bukayo Saka have had unbelievable seasons, and you know the manager is going to stick with those two players out wide, so Pepe has to work hard when he comes back. He needs to work harder than Martinelli and Saka.

“I don’t see Mikel Arteta changing those two wingers, so Pepe needs to force himself into Arteta’s thoughts and plans. I’d be really happy to see him at Arsenal next season, though.

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“And I ask that Arteta gives him a chance. When a player like Pepe arrives, for so much money, he needs to play. He needs to prove himself.

“The club spent a lot of money on him; he was supposed to be a regular player for this team. He had such a good season at Lille, which encouraged Arsenal to spend so much money on him. Things didn’t work out for him, especially under Arteta.

“The manager wants his players to work hard, but Pepe is coming back into a different team, so I think he has to be given a chance; an opportunity to show what he can do. When he’s playing well, he’s so good.

“But he left the club when he was in a really low place. I want him to work hard, and I want Arteta to give him a chance.”

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