Arsenal would SELL Pepe in January 'if they could', says Merson

Arsenal would SELL Nicolas Pepe in January ‘if they could’ due to the star’s lack of consistency, claims Paul Merson – with club tipped to take a big hit when offloading him by banking ‘£20-30m’ for £72m man

  • Nicolas Pepe has struggled to impress for Arsenal this season under Mikel Arteta
  • The outcast forward started against Sunderland and scored inside the first half 
  • But Paul Merson has tipped his old club to look to sell the £72m man in January
  • However, he believes they would make £20-30m, a fee lower than his price tag 

Arsenal forward Nicolas Pepe is already in the last chance saloon at the club, according to Paul Merson – who has tipped them to offload their struggling star and take a huge hit on his transfer fee.

Pepe arrived for an eye-watering £72million from Lille in 2019, a move which saw them smash their transfer record, but he has since failed to hit the same heights as his time in France and remains a source of frustration for fans.

And as such, Merson believes his lack of consistency may spell the end of his time at the Emirates just over two years since he was snapped up.

Arsenal would look to sell struggling forward Nicolas Pepe next month, Paul Merson has said

Questioned on the 26-year-old’s fortunes ahead of Arsenal’s Carabao Cup clash against Sunderland, the former Arsenal star said: ‘I think if they could sell him in January, they’d probably sell him. 

‘In my opinion, I think he would go and move on if he could. He just hasn’t been consistent enough. The ones in front of him have been consistent. 

‘He can be an 8/10 or a 4/10. As a manager you just want someone who’ll be a steady seven, seven and a half.’

Pepe scored 10 goals in the Premier League last season in a promising start under Mikel Arteta, but has struggled to make an impact over the course of this season. 

Pepe (above, left) was handed a rare start in his side’s Carabao Cup clash against Sunderland

Indeed, before his appearance against League One outfit Sunderland, his last appearance came more than a month ago – against Southampton.

His disappointing return this term has seen him score just one goal, leading to supporters and pundits to question whether the weight of pressure has hurt him.

Merson, however, has waved away this claim – and believes exorbitant price tags in the modern day have little sway over the performances of players. 

He added: ‘Years ago, when you got bought for a lorry load of money, the pressure was on. In this day and age, you can flop and no one says a word.

Merson believes his former club would bank just ‘£20-30m’ for Pepe, a loss from his £72m fee

‘Managers would lose their jobs on a big signing, that doesn’t happen anymore. 

‘They’ll probably sell him for 20-30million and lose 30-40million on him, and no one will say a dickie bird. 

‘For me, I hope he goes out and enjoys it today. It’s all about attitude. You’re playing at Arsenal, that pitch is mustard.’

Arsenal boss Arteta has claimed Pepe’s lack of minutes is nothing person, instead pointing out that the club’s absence from European competitions is to blame.  

Mikel Arteta has admitted that Pepe has not had another opportunities to impress this season

‘It’s with all the players that they are not having enough minutes,’ he said.

‘Obviously with the amount of games we have are having, there’s not enough room for all those players.

‘With Nico’s situation it’s something similar. I’ve highlighted on many occasions it’s because of what I see every day. That’s with Nico as well.

‘But he needs more opportunities to show what he can do and in the last few games, he hasn’t had them.’

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