Nicolas Pepe, who joined Arsenal for a club-record fee of £72m looks set for an exit this summer after a miserable time since Mikel Arteta became the club’s manager.
Arsenal broke their transfer record to sign Nicolas Pepe from Lille in 2019 after hijacking the Ivorian star from other clubs including Manchester United. Nicolas Pepe was on the verge of joining Manchester United for a transfer fee worth £70 million in 2019. It was almost a done deal between Lille and United as the Lille president, Gerard Lopez said then that the player would leave to join United very soon.
The president explained that Pepe’s departure to Manchester United was practically a fact and the only thing that needed to be done was to agree on the final few aspects of the contract.
Unfortunately, Arsenal put Manchester United behind as they raised their bid for the winger to £72 million higher than the £70 million United’s offer to acquire him from Lille in 2019.
However, It’s a disappointing scenario for Gunners that the Ivorian’s performance upon joining the club is below their expectations considering how much they spent to obtain him.
Reports in France confirmed that Pepe is, however, set for a move away from Arsenal to join OGC Nice on loan for the season. Pepe looks to be next in line to join the Ligue 1 club after former Gunners star Aaron Ramsey and Leicester City star Kasper Schmeichel moved to Nice.
According to Foot Mercato, Pepe is “interested” in a loan move to Ligue 1 side OGC Nice, with his agent, Louis Ferrer holding a meeting over a potential switch.
Given his performances in his previous club, it could be the right type of move that could reinvigorate the winger’s career since he’s returning to France, a very familiar terrain. The transfer is expected to prompt Pepe to do more for Nice than he did for Lille.
Why Nicolas Pepe wants to leave Arsenal
Nicolas Pepe won the 2019/20 FA Cup in his debut season for Arsenal. However, he found himself out of favour last season – making just 20 league appearances – and has been an unused substitute for both of the Gunners’ Premier League games this term.
The Ivorian spent the majority of the previous season on the bench, failing to convince boss Mikel Arteta that he has a place in the starting lineup.
The forward is yet to make an appearance this season though, with Bukayo Saka often preferred on the right wing.
Despite that, Arsenal manager, Mikel Arteta claimed in pre-season that every player had a fresh slate to work from going into the 2022-2023 campaign.
His statement goes thus: “The message is: this is a different season and everybody has a clean start. Show us what you can do on the pitch, how you’re going to behave with your team-mates, are you going to make the car faster – yes or no?”
Meanwhile, Nicolas Pepe only made a few appearances during the early friendly matches as part of the pre-season camp, but it soon became clear that he was not a preferred option for the manager, who had a front line in mind when picking his teams, hence, his exit from Gunners this season may be inevitable.
Nicolas Pepe’s Football Career and Stats:
Nicolas Pepe, born 29th of May 1995 is a professional footballer who plays as a winger for Premier League club Arsenal. Born in France, he represented the Ivorian national team and made his debut for the Ivory Coast on 15 November 2016 in a friendly against France.
He was selected for the Africa Cup of Nations in 2017, 2019 and 2021.
Pepe began his senior club career with Poitiers in the Championnat de France Amateur 2. He signed for Angers in 2013 when he was 18 years, and spent a season on loan at Orléans in 2015.
Pepe signed for Lille in 2017, and was named the UNFP Ligue 1 Team of the Year in the 2018–19 season. He scored 35 Ligue 1 goals for Lille and was named the highest scorer in the entire league in the 2018-19 season as Lille finished second behind Paris Saint-Germain.
That summer, Pepe joined Arsenal from Lille for a club-record fee of £72 million, and won the 2019/2020 FA Cup in his debut season for the club. Pepe is known as a quick and skilled attacking winger who is comfortable on both flanks, but usually plays on the right wing cutting onto his left foot. He is recognized for his dribbling skills and he’s a superb freekick taker.
What is the marital status of Nicolas Pepe?
Pepe’s fans have been very curious to find out more about the Cote d’Ivoire international, but he has been very private about his personal life. Many were astonished when Arsenal announced that he missed a game in 2020 because his wife went into labor, as no one knew that Pepe has a wife.
Nicolas Pepe is married to his long-term partner, Fanny B, a social media influencer who was born on October 4, 1995.
There is no official information on how long the couple have been dating, but it is believed that the two have been dating since 2017.
The couple tied the knot in a private wedding ceremony, which took place in France and was attended by all their closest family members and friends.
Pete’s union with Fanny B is blessed with a son named Isiah Pepe. As at last check, the lovers are expecting a second child.
The talks on the possibility of his move to OGC Nice are ongoing as the player’s agent was at Nice’s stadium over the weekend for the game against Strasbourg on Sunday. However, Pepe’s move to Nice will be actualized once the club reaches an agreement with Arsenal.