Nicolas Pepe confirms he is heading to Arsenal

Nicolas Pepe has confirmed that he is returning to his parent club Arsenal but his future is still uncertain.

Nicolas Pepe hasn’t been at his best over the past few seasons and his future has been the talk of the town of late. The 28-year-old winger was out on loan at OGC Nice for the 2022-23 season and he is all set to return to Arsenal ahead of next season.

Pepe was on fire while playing for LOSC Lille back in the day. His impressive performances for the French club resulted in a lot of interest from across Europe. And, Arsenal managed to land him at the club in a big money move.

In the initial years, the 28-year-old had quite an impact at the club. But, over time, he started struggling and injuries also played a part. Eventually, he fell out of favour under Mikel Arteta as the Spanish manager kept him on the bench for a long run of games.

While there are talks about Pepe not having a great relationship with Arteta, the player has dismissed such misconceptions during an interview with Colinterview.

Pepe on his relationship with Arteta: “People say that he identified me as a player that wasn’t up to the level in his team, in his philosophy. It’s completely false. When he arrived, he had (Manchester) City’s philosophy. He had a squad that was filled with quality and backups in every position. 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 really believed in me. He said I had incredible potential, so we need to extract that potential.”

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With him surplus to requirement ahead of the 2022-23 season, Arteta decided to loan out the Ivory Coast international. Pepe joined OGC Nice on a season-long loan without an option to buy. However, his loan move also didn’t go according to plan. He featured in a total of 28 matches and could only contribute towards nine goals.

The 28-year-old was out injured for a significant part of the season. At one point in time, he was rushed into action post-injury but ended up getting injured once again.

After a disappointing spell, Nice has decided against signing him on a permanent basis. The former LOSC Lille winger is all set to return to his parent club. However, his future at the club is uncertain, he is all set to hold talks with the club during the pre-season and then a decision regarding his future will be made.

Pépé regarding his future: “I will return to Arsenal. I was loaned without an option to buy so I have to go back to Arsenal. I don’t know [about my future] yet. When I get back, I’ll speak with the coach and everyone and see what everyone’s ideas are and then we’ll make a decision.”

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