Arsenal winger Nicolas Pepe (on loan at OGC Nice) is reportedly ready to leave the Premier League club, as he is not part of Mikel Arteta's plans.
Pepe, 27, fell down the pecking order at the Emirates at the start of the season. He was sent to Nice to gain first-team opportunities. The Ivorian attacker has scored eight goals and provided one assist in 24 games across competitions. According to L'Equipe, it may not be long before the former LOSC Lille forward departs the Gunners for good.
Nice and Pepe have three months left to find out whether he can continue his career at the Allianz Riviera permanently. The Ligue 1 club will wait to make a decision over a potential permanent transfer by analysing his performances in the remainder of the season.
Pepe is happy to leave Arsenal, as he's not part of Arteta's plans. He failed to impress following an €80 million move to the club from Lille in 2018. He scored 27 goals and provided 21 assists in 112 games, failing to live up to his hefty price tag.
The Ivorian has a year left on his contract with the Gunners, who may look to cash in on him in the summer. Transfermarkt values him at €22 million.
Arsenal captain Martin Odegaard lauds return of Gabriel Jesus from injury
Jesus missed three months of action after suffering a serious knee injury at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar with Brazil.
He was in impressive form before the setback, scoring five goals and providing seven assists in 27 games across competitions this season. He made his first appearance since returning from the sidelines in the 3-0 Premier League win over Fulham on March 12.
Gunners captain Odegaard is delighted to have the Brazilian back, as he brings valuable experience and leadership to the side. The Norweigan said (via 90min):
"It is a great addition to the squad again. He gives so much every day in training; he comes in and trains like it’s a game."
"He gives everything in all situations, so it is great to have him back. Of course, he helps with leadership; he has been at Manchester City and won a few things there, so he can help with his experience and his energy as well."
Jesus arrived at Arsenal from Manchester City last summer alongside his long-time teammate Oleksandr Zinchenko. Odegaard added that the duo's experience of winning league titles with the Cityzens is crucial:
"The players from City (Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko) just bring different thinking; they have the experience and people listen to them when they talk. They are calm under pressure and add a lot of things. The whole team is helping each other, so that is the main thing."
Arsenal will move eight points clear of City atop the Premier League with a win over Crystal Palace on Sunday (March 19). Pep Guardiola's side are not in league action this weekend, as they beat Burnley 6-0 in the FA Cup quarterfinals on Saturday (March 18).