Arsenal are going to face a substantial financial hit as the club prepares to part ways with winger Nicolas Pepe, resulting in a loss of £56.62 million on their initial investment and £5,040,000 worth of wages.
Pepe, signed from Lille for a club record fee of £72 million in 2019, has failed to live up to expectations since his high-profile move.
Despite hopes of a fruitful partnership, the Ivorian winger has struggled to make a significant impact at Arsenal. As a result, the club is actively seeking potential suitors for the 28-year-old, whose market value has plummeted to a mere £15.38 million. This significant depreciation in value translates to a hefty financial loss for the North Londoners.
In addition to the transfer fee, Arsenal will also bear the burden of wages paid to Pepe over the past three years, amounting to a total of £5,040,000. The Ivorian reportedly earns £140,000 per week, an expense that the club must consider as they navigate the financial fallout of the failed investment.
Since his arrival at Arsenal, Pepe has made 112 appearances, scoring 27 goals and providing 21 assists. However, the 2022/23 season saw him spending his time on loan at Ligue 1 side Nice, where he managed to score eight goals and contribute one assist in 28 matches.
Despite the conclusion of his loan spell, a revival at Arsenal seems unlikely for Pepe. With only one year remaining on his contract, the winger is expected to leave the club for a significantly reduced fee compared to the sum Arsenal paid four years ago. The disappointing stint in London has contributed to the diminishing prospects for Pepe’s future at the club.
The winger was initially hailed as the solution to Arsenal’s attacking woes when he arrived under former manager Unai Emery. However, Pepe failed to replicate the potential he had showcased during his time at Lille, leaving the club with no choice but to part ways this summer.
Pepe’s hefty salary presents a challenge in finding potential suitors. Nice, the club where he spent the previous season on loan, has reportedly shown no interest in pursuing a permanent deal for the underperforming attacker.
Nicolas Pepe had expressed his belief in his ability to contribute to Arsenal’s pursuit of the Premier League title. However, he acknowledged that it was ultimately Mikel Arteta’s choice to send him on loan.
“I don’t know what Arsenal want to do. I still have a lot of friends there. I could have been important for this club, but it’s the manager’s choice,” Pepe said in April.
There are interest from Saudi Arabia and France with Nice not prepared to request a permanent move for the winger.