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Arsenal flop set for loan move back to Ligue 1

Nicolas Pepe, Arsenal
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Mikel Arteta is keen to offload a forward from his in-form attacking line.

Arsenal have reportedly reached an agreement with Nice to loan out Nicolas Pepe.

Pepe has failed to live up to expectations since his £72m move to Emirates in 2019. Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has left him out of his plans for the new season, allowing his departure on a loan move.

According to Fabrizio Romano, Arsenal have agreed to send Pepe on a season-long loan spell at Nice.

The Sky Sports journalist claims the Ligue 1 side will pay the ‘main part’ of Pepe’s salary. Arsenal have also avoided putting a buy-out option in the Frenchman’s contract.

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In his 112 appearances for the Gunners, Pepe have scored 27 goals. Despite his struggles for form at Emirates, the winger as repeatedly expressed his desire to fight for a place in Arsenal’s lineup last season.

However, his performances didn’t convince Arteta to make him a regular starter at Arsenal. The likes of Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli take on crucial roles in the Gunners’ front line, while Pepe mostly started the games on the bench.

Arsenal went on to add Gabriel Jesus to their ranks earlier this summer. The Brazil international’s incredible start to the new season has seemingly ended Pepe’s hopes for regular game time at Emirates.

Jesus will provide Arteta’s side with a reliable number nine, letting the likes of Martin Odegaard and Saka play in their natural positions.