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Nicolas Pepe opens the door to a departure

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With his career going nowhere, Nicolas Pepe is considering his options and might even look to leave Arsenal this summer.

Nicolas Pepe can only look from the outside as the Gunners continue rising up the league standings.

Absent from the Big Four since the 2015/2016 season, Arsenal may be putting an end to this series of poor performances in the Premier League. Fourth in the standings, the Gunners have the potential to hold their position and return to the Champions League next season. Long criticized, Mikel Arteta finally seems to have found the right formula.

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But not all Gunners are smiling, especially Nicolas Pepe. The most expensive players in the history of the London club (€80m), the Ivorian international is going through an ordeal in England. With only five starts this season, the former Lille player has a starving record of 1 goal and 1 assist in 15 league appearances.

Disappeared from radar, Pepe is clearly not a priority for Arteta. Going from flagship signing to plague-stricken, the Ivorian seized this international truce as a lifeline.

“It’s an honor to play for Côte d’Ivoire. The most important thing is to enjoy your football. It’s something I’m able to do when I get the chance to play,” he told Metro, before giving an update on his situation.

“It’s frustrating not to play. No player likes not to play, but I have to respect the coach’s decision. When a team wins, it’s hard for a coach to make changes. Mikel explained it to me, and I know I have to work hard in training to get more playing time. The coach knows what I’m thinking and how hard I work. It is also a question of communication. Sometimes it is not easy to communicate with the language barrier”.

Can such a situation continue? Linked to Arsenal until 2024, Pepe enjoys a very comfortable contract (7.8 million euros annually).

What make him take his pain patiently? Maybe not. For the first time, Pepe has left the door open to a possible departure.

“I am focused on our performances until the end of the season and on the club’s objective which is to reach the Champions League. Then we’ll see what happens.”