Arsenal

‘It has not worked out’ – Kevin Campbell says Arsenal star must leave the club

Kevin Campbell believes Nicolas Pepe has no future at Arsenal with the winger having not started a Premier League match for six months.

Pepe, 26, was signed by the Gunners in 2019 for over £70 million but has struggled to make a mark at the club since his move from Lille.

This season he has hardly featured under manager Mikel Arteta, making just 17 league appearances.

Campbell, the former Arsenal forward, thinks the Ivorian was over-priced, pointing out that he does not possess the correct attitude to play for his old side.

Speaking to Football Insider, he said: ‘Arsenal paid over the odds for him. It has just not worked out. It is that simple. He is a talented player, that’s for sure. But it has not worked out for him.

‘You see the intensity and focus that Mikel Arteta wants the team to play with. I don’t think Pepe fits into that. He is a drifter. He will concentrate for a bit and then drift out again.

‘I said just before Christmas it was a big few months coming up for Pepe. It was going to determine whether or not he had a future at Arsenal. Well, he doesn’t have a future at Arsenal.’

According to The Sun, Arteta is prepared to let Pepe go for £25 million this summer, which would represent a significant loss on the fee paid for the former Lille man three years ago.

Scoring just eight goals, Pepe endured a difficult first season in north London but appeared to turn the corner last term after notching 16 goals in 47 appearances for the Gunners.

However, the emergence of Saka in his favourite position on the right-wing has resulted in Pepe seeing considerable less playing time in the last year.

Meanwhile, the absence of European football at Arsenal means Arteta has rarely rotated his squad this season, further curbing his playing opportunities.

Speaking last month, Pepe disclosed his unhappiness at a lack of minutes at Arsenal during the current campaign.

He said: ‘It is frustrating not to play. No player enjoys not playing but I have to respect the coach’s decision.

‘When a team is winning it is hard for a coach to make changes. Mikel has explained that to me and I know I have to work hard in training to get more playing time.’

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