Mikel Arteta, the manager of Arsenal, has given the impression that the club intends to return to the transfer market to find a replacement for Nicolas Pepe, who has joined Nice on loan.
Mikel Arteta and his team will be determined to keep Arsenal at the top of the Premier League standings going into this weekend’s London derby against Fulham.
The Gunners have made a great start to the new domestic season after missing out on a Champions League spot the previous season, with newcomers Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko playing major roles for the Londoners.
With less than one week remaining, it remains to be seen if Arsenal will conclude any more transfer business, but talk of a move for Wolves winger Pedro Neto refuses to die down. Ahead of a big weekend of top-flight action, Mirror Football rounds up the latest news from in and around the Emirates Stadium.
Arteta drops fresh transfer hint
The strongest indication yet that Arsenal may replace Nicolas Pepe in the final week of the transfer window comes from Arteta.
After falling short of expectations after his 2019 £72 million transfer from Lille, the Gunners club record signing has joined Nice on a season-long loan.
In his press conference on Friday, Arteta also made a suggestion that a replacement is being considered. “If we can implement the plan that we have, we will try to achieve it,” the Spaniard joked. In that plan, [Pepe departing] was a possibility; now, it has actually occurred. For the past two months, we have been preparing, and today we shall observe.
The departure of Pepe has also resolved a long-standing issue with the dressing room that was brought up by the technical director of the Gunners, Edu.
The Brazilian made a suggestion that high-paid squad members who were underwhelming, like Pepe, were “killing” the club and had no future at the Emirates during an interview with Sky Sports back in July.
Pepe is said to be one of the Gunners top earners after signing in a big-money deal three years ago, so dumping him for the season will be a significant gain for Arsenal even though there are many other marginal players still at the club.
The Gunners will also face Bodo/Glimt and FC Zurich after losing out to Tottenham for a Champions League spot the previous season.
Arteta’s men know that they can bank an automatic spot in next year’s Champions League if they can go on and win the tournament outright this year, although they are likely to face stiff competition from Manchester United, who are also in the competition.
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