Nicolas Pepe has withdrawn from the Ivory Coast’s squad to return to Arsenal but there’s nothing to worry about – he is just coming back to work on his match fitness.

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 01: Nicolas Pepe of Arsenal battle with Danny Rose of Spurs during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Tottenham Hotspur at Emirates Stadium on September 01, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 01: Nicolas Pepe of Arsenal battle with Danny Rose of Spurs during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Tottenham Hotspur at Emirates Stadium on September 01, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

There was much alarm when it was revealed that Nicolas Pepe had cut short his time with his national side to return to Arsenal but that fear was quickly extinguished when it was revealed he does not have an injury.

Phew.

The 24-year-old has returned to London Colney to increase his match fitness ahead of the return of the Premier League.

Both Arsenal and his country’s federation reportedly agreed that, although the winger would join up with his national teammates, he would not take part in their friendlies against Benin and Tunisia.

Personally, I’d have thought that playing in two friendlies would have been a good way to help increase his fitness, but what do I know? I sit in front of a computer all day. I’m sure the fitness folks at Arsenal have a much better idea of what makes sense than me.

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Writer. Feminist. Dreamer. Gooner. Owner of DailyCannon.com, writing about Arsenal since 2008. Sometimes found in the Guardian, Vice.com & elsewhere talking queer issues, politics & football. If in doubt, assume sarcasm.