The Rise and Fall of Nicolas Pépé at Arsenal

CEO Tam DT
After a promising start, Nicolas Pépé's time at Arsenal has taken a sharp downturn. From being the club's record signing to a free transfer, his journey reflects poorly on all parties involved. Let's take a...

After a promising start, Nicolas Pépé's time at Arsenal has taken a sharp downturn. From being the club's record signing to a free transfer, his journey reflects poorly on all parties involved. Let's take a closer look at what went wrong.

A Costly Gamble

It's easy to look back and say that Pépé's career at Arsenal was doomed from the start. The whopping £72 million price tag weighed heavily on the young winger's shoulders. Even though he had a stellar 2018-19 season with Lille, registering 22 goals and 11 assists, many agents were surprised at the amount paid by Arsenal.

Lille owner Gerard Lopez even claimed that another club had offered more money, including wages, but the skepticism surrounding the deal was widespread. The scrutiny led to internal reviews and cost-cutting measures within the club.

Turbulent Leadership

Pépé's time at Arsenal coincided with managerial changes and internal upheaval. Unai Emery, Arsenal's manager at the time, admitted that his preferred choice was Crystal Palace's Wilfried Zaha, not Pépé. Ironically, both players now find themselves in Turkey, with Pépé joining Trabzonspor.

There were also concerns about Pépé's commitment and his influence on the squad. It's been rumored that he formed a clique with Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, which hindered the team's progress. Lacazette eventually left on a free transfer, and Aubameyang lost the captaincy due to disciplinary issues.

Challenges with Authority

Pépé's career has been marred by struggles with authority figures. Even during his early days at Angers, his first professional club, he defied the manager's instruction to shave off his showy blond-dyed mohawk. This defiance was met with consequences, as he was immediately substituted and had to apologize to his teammates.

A Glimpse of Hope

Despite his setbacks, Pépé did show signs of maturity and growth at Arsenal. When his partner gave birth to their baby boy, he expressed his commitment to the team by still wanting to be considered for selection, even after missing training. In a crucial Premier League match against Wolves, Pépé came off the bench to score and assist, showcasing his potential.

The Unseen Competition

While Pépé struggled to make an impact, another young player, Bukayo Saka, flourished on the right-wing. Saka's consistent and impressive performances overshadowed Pépé and endeared him to Arsenal fans. This further diminished Pépé's chances of reclaiming his spot in the team.

Lessons Learned

Arsenal has since revamped their transfer approach, making successful acquisitions like Martin Odegaard, Ben White, and Gabriel Jesus. Pépé, on the other hand, seeks to rebuild his career in Turkey. The struggle continues for the Ivorian winger as he tries to prove his worth once again.

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In conclusion, Nicolas Pépé's time at Arsenal was filled with high expectations and mounting disappointments. While his struggles can be attributed to a combination of factors, it is clear that the Ivorian winger couldn't live up to the price tag and the changing dynamics within the club. Only time will tell if Pépé can overcome these challenges and find success in his future endeavors.

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