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Former Arsenal player Mikel Arteta rejected is set to be without a club

Former Arsenal player who Mikel Arteta deemed not good enough will be without a club at the end of the season

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Image credit: Getty Images

Former Arsenal forward Nicolas Pepe is set to bid farewell to Trabzonspor as his contract with the Turkish club draws to a close at the end of June. Following a stint with the Gunners and a loan spell at Nice, Pepe’s time in Turkey has been marked by sporadic performances and injury setbacks.

The Ivorian, who commanded a then club-record fee of £72 million upon his arrival at Arsenal in 2019, moved to Trabzonspor in September on a free transfer after his contract with Arsenal was terminated last summer. 

Despite showing early promise with two goals and an assist in his first three starts, Pepe’s momentum was disrupted by a hamstring injury and his commitments at the African Cup of Nations.

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Nicolas Pepe

Former Arsenal winger Nicolas Pepe (Image credit: Getty Images)

Although he showcased glimpses of his talent upon his return to the starting lineup in March, Pepe’s recent form has been underwhelming, with just one goal in his last six appearances for Trabzonspor.


Reports indicate that the 28-year-old winger will part ways with the Turkish club upon the expiry of his short-term contract, with Pepe expressing a desire to continue his career in Europe despite offers from Saudi Arabia.

With Trabzonspor destined to finish third in the Super Lig table, Pepe’s remaining matches with the club are limited to potentially just five fixtures, including a Turkish Cup semi-final clash against Karagumruk. 

Pepe’s journey from Arsenal to Trabzonspor has been marked by highs and lows, with his initial struggles in the Premier League evolving into a resurgence under Mikel Arteta’s tenure.

During the 2020/21 season, Pepe emerged as a key contributor for Arsenal, notching 16 goals and five assists across all competitions, showcasing his potential as a top-tier winger. However, a subsequent decline in first-team opportunities led to Pepe’s loan move to Nice in August 2022, where he displayed flashes of brilliance tempered by injury setbacks.

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