EUROPEAN FOOTBALL

£72 million Arsenal flop set to become unemployed next month

Arsenal

In September last year, Arsenal terminated the contract of the club’s record signing, Nicolas Pepe. Less than a year since, the Ivorian is set to become a free agent.

The 28-year-old joined Trabzonspor for free after leaving the Gunners. And while he has been amongst the goals for the Turkish club, he has not played with enough regularity to earn an extension on his current deal.

The highest point in Pepe’s career was when Arsenal signed him for £72 million back in 2019 – a club record fee at the time. But things only went downhill for the forward since then.

Pepe failed to live up to expectations

Fresh from a 22-goal campaign with Lille, Arsenal signed Pepe with expectations of him securing the right-wing for years to come. However, he only managed 5 goals in his debut Premier League campaign. This was followed by 10 goals next season, but that was as good as it got.

The misfiring winger made just 23 appearances across all competitions in the 2021/22 season, scoring only 3 times. His last appearance for the Gunners came in October 2021. Next season, he was subsequently shipped out to OCG Nice on loan. Pepe failed to make a mark in his second stint in France and returned to Arsenal at the end of the season.

Nicolas Pepe proved to be too costly for Arsenal

Pepe reportedly cost Arsenal ‘significantly’ in excess of £100 million. That’s after taking into account his hefty transfer fee and £7 million-a-year wages. And 27 goals in 112 games doesn’t justify the amount involved at all.

To make things worse, the 28-year-old failed to find any suitors in the transfer market last summer. In the end, Pepe’s Arsenal contract was terminated by mutual consent.

Currently on a one-year deal at Trabzonspor, the forward has featured in only 17 of their 35 Turkish Super Lig games this season, scoring 5 goals. This is a respectable return, but has not yet proved to be enough for a contract extension to materialize.

As featured on GoonerNews.com

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