Arsenal’s current record-signing, which is set to be broken this week, Nicolas Pepe has looked back on his time with the Gunners in a recent interview with GFFN.
Coming to North London in 2019 as a £72 million signing put a lot of pressure on the Nicolas Pepe’s shoulders with expectations at an all-time high. Unfortunately the Ivorian winger was unable to live up to those expectations.
Despite not being able to fulfil the expectation that was put on him, Nicolas Pepe still managed to win an FA Cup and a Community Shield during his time at the the club. He also played a crucial part in the FA Cup final with a top performance at Wembley topped off by providing an assist for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s winner.
However it appears his Arsenal career is set to come to an end this summer as his agent is actively looking for a new club with the player not in Mikel Arteta’s plans ahead of next season. According to a few reports, it appears the 28-year-old is currently training away from the rest of the squad as leaving Arsenal is the only option for him this summer.
In an interview he conducted with GFFN, Pepe talked about his life in North London and his relationship with Arteta.
He described his relationship with Mikel Arteta as a turbulent one by saying: “When he spoke to me, he said he counted on me, he wanted me to do this or that, and you have to focus on that. He improved me in every way.”
“He spoke to me the whole time, I watched videos with his assistants all the time. He believed in me. He said I had incredible potential, so we need to extract that potential.”
He added that he felt disappointed when Arsenal signed Willian as the Brazilian played multiple games ahead of him while his performances weren’t very good.
On statements that Arteta didn’t want him, he responded by saying: “It’s not true that he labeled me. Not true at all. He helped me in every way, on a tactical level, in terms of game intelligence because his philosophy requires a lot of intelligence.”
“He knew my style of play wasn’t waiting in possession, it was cutting inside, it wasn’t waiting out on the right. Before, I was a bit free. I had to wait in my zone, and I wasn’t like that before. These are parts of my game that he tried to improve. He always wanted to help me with all of that.”
Nicolas Pepe spent last season on loan in France with OGC Nice and there are many French clubs interested in signing the player this summer, but only if he is willing to take a wage cut. Arsenal are looking for at least £15million, which would still be a net loss of £57million on what they paid for Nicolas Pepe back in 2019.