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Arsenal reject Nicolas Pepe linked with Nice loan as Simon Jordan compares ‘drip’ to Manchester United’s Jadon Sancho

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By Sean O’Brien

Arsenal look set to take a huge loss on their £72million signing of Nicolas Pepe with the forward poised to leave the Gunners.

Ligue 1 side Nice are lining up a loan move with an option to buy the 27-year-old, who has fallen out of favour under Mikel Arteta.

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Pepe’s time at the Emirates looks set to end

Pepe is the most expensive player in Arsenal history following his club-record transfer in 2019 – but has failed to live up to his price tag over three seasons.

“One player who hasn’t worked out for Arsenal is the big-money flop Pepe,” talkSPORT football correspondent Alex Crook said.

“They paid £72m but he’s clearly not part of the furniture anymore. Nice are looking at him as well as Blackburn’s Ben Brereton Diaz on a possible loan move with an option to buy.

“But Arsenal aren’t going to get anywhere near their £72m back.”

The Ivory Coast international arrived from French club Lille with a big reputation, but has managed just 16 goals in 80 Premier League appearances.

Ex-Crystal Palace owner Simon Jordan believes the Gunners only bought Pepe because of a generously-structured deal which allowed them to pay Lille in multiple installements.

Pepe has fallen down the pecking order at Arsenal

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Pepe has fallen down the pecking order at Arsenal

“They got this boy for £72m because they could pay on a drip – and he’s been a drip!” Jordan told talkSPORT.

“He’s pulling up the same trees Jadon Sancho is pulling up at Man United for similar money.”

However, ex-Premier League midfielder Danny Murphy defends Pepe and insists the emergence of Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka left him no chance to prove himself at Arsenal.

“I quite like him, he’s a talented player, he’s alright,” Murphy told talkSPORT.

Murphy believes Pepe’s record is respectable

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Murphy believes Pepe’s record is respectable

“In his second season, when he became a bit more settled, he got 16 goals in 47 games.

“That’s a lot more than some players who we say are good players. It’s not bad.

“The season after it fell away because Saka and Smith Rowe took his place. You’ve got to be given the opportunity to play regularly.”

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Source: Talksport.

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