Arsenal star Nicolas Pepe is among the ‘biggest flops’ in the Gunners’ history and the club deserve to be blamed for his woeful spell at the Emirates Stadium due to a key reason, transfer insider Dean Jones has told GIVEMESPORT.
Although the Premier League’s summer window slammed shut last week, boss Mikel Arteta could still offload players deemed surplus to requirements to clubs competing in nations where their deadline is looming.
According to 90min, Pepe is on the verge of bringing the curtain down on his Arsenal career as a move to Turkish giants Besiktas is being finalised.
The report suggests the Ivory Coast international, who returned to north London after scoring eight goals while on loan with Nice last season, is set to join the Super Lig outfit for a nominal fee after being willing to accept a significant pay-cut.
Pepe entered the final 12 months of his £140,000-per-week contract earlier this summer, which has led to Arsenal looking to recoup any cash they can ahead of him becoming a free agent.
In fact, Sky Sports reporter Michael Bridge recently told GIVEMESPORT that the Gunners are ‘doing everything in their power’ to get the winger off their books after he has fallen by the wayside at the Emirates Stadium.
Saudi Arabia could still be an alternative destination to Besiktas as Pepe has also received a proposal from Al-Shabab, with his representatives travelling to the Middle Eastern country to hold discussions as Arsenal look to recoup as little as £2million.
Arsenal’s most expensive signings of all-time
Declan Rice (West Ham United)
Nicolas Pepe (Lille)
Kai Havertz (Chelsea)
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Borussia Dortmund)
Ben White (Brighton & Hove Albion)
All transfer fees according to Goal
What has Dean Jones said about Pepe?
Although Jones believes Pepe will go down in history as one of the most disappointing signings Arsenal have made in their entire history, he feels the capital club deserve the lion’s share of the blame for the move failing to work out.
The respected journalist feels the Gunners paid over the odds for the ex-Angers man, which resulted in pressure being heaped onto him.
“Pepe is one of Arsenal’s biggest flops of all-time when you consider what is involved, but it is more a reflection of where Arsenal were at the time, their model and desperation that I blame than the player. I watched a lot of Pepe in the season before he landed in the Premier League, and he was brilliant. The way he got at people, he would run from the halfway line taking it past people and score a goal, he was full of confidence. But he was never worth £72million. He was worth about half that amount, and the expectation and attention that came with the deal at that time was unhelpful for him. In recent times, we see the way Arsenal conduct business and it is impressive, but that wasn’t how it was back then. The day he leaves will probably be a relief for everyone.”
How much has Pepe cost Arsenal per goal?
Arsenal splashed out a then-club record fee of £72million when they signed Pepe from Lille four years ago, but he has failed to deliver the goods in the final third of the pitch.
The 28-year-old has gone on to find the back of the net 27 times and provided a further 21 assists for his teammates over the course of 112 appearances in a Gunners shirt.
Pepe’s contract is worth £34.32million, meaning he has cost Arsenal £106.32million when the cost of his acquisition is included.
As a result, each goal for the north Londoners has been worth more than £3.9million, which is a staggering amount.
Who else is among Arsenal’s biggest flops?
Arsenal forked out £10.7million in order to lure Gervinho away from Lille 12 years ago but, like with Pepe, it was a switch that did not prove fruitful.
The winger only went on to find the back of the net 11 times and contributed a further 12 assists in 63 outings, with his lack of end product making it difficult to nail down a regular starting berth.
Gervinho, who is currently a free agent after leaving Aris Saloniki during the summer, ended up moving onto Roma in a £8million switch as Arsenal looked to cut their losses just two years after his arrival at the Emirates Stadium.
Although the 88-cap Ivory Coast international has won silverware for his country and during stints in France and Turkey, he could not inspire the north Londoners to trophies and is still widely revered as one of Arsene Wenger’s worst signings.
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