Nicolas Pepe is expected to leave Arsenal this summer if bids arrive, which is why links to potential replacements are growing.

Arsenal's French-born Ivorian midfielder Nicolas Pepe (R) shoots to score their first goal during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Wolverhampton Wanderers at the Emirates Stadium in London on February 24, 2022. (Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images)
Arsenal’s French-born Ivorian midfielder Nicolas Pepe (R) shoots to score their first goal during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Wolverhampton Wanderers at the Emirates Stadium in London on February 24, 2022. (Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images)

In the last few days, media reports have suggested Arsenal interest in the likes of Raphinha and Jarrod Bowen, despite Mikel Arteta already having Bukayo Saka and Nicolas Pepe at his disposal.

The apparent explanation is that Pepe is on the way out. Goal and The Telegraph report that it’s expected that Pepe will leave Arsenal this summer, assuming suitable offers arrive.

But it’s a big “if” whether or not those bids will actually come in. The last couple of seasons haven’t exactly turned him into an in-demand player, after losing his starting spot to Saka.

We’ve still seen glimpses of the 27-year-old’s talent this season. He scored three goals and assisted six in 951 minutes in all competitions, which is a very solid record when you look at it per minute.

The problem is that most of those goal contributions were in League Cup games or against relegation battlers. There’s little evidence of how Pepe can perform in the big games, as he mostly didn’t play in them.

Ivory Coast's forward Nicolas Pepe (C) scores a goal during the friendly football match between France and Ivory Coast at the Velodrome Stadium in Marseille, southern France, on March 25, 2022. (Photo by NICOLAS TUCAT/AFP via Getty Images)
Ivory Coast’s forward Nicolas Pepe (C) scores a goal during the friendly football match between France and Ivory Coast at the Velodrome Stadium in Marseille, southern France, on March 25, 2022. (Photo by NICOLAS TUCAT/AFP via Getty Images)

Still, a smart club may see this as the opportune time to pick Pepe up. He still brings goals and assists, and his value is way down on what Arsenal paid for him.

If you could get him performing at anything like the standard he was at before joining Arsenal, he’d be well worth whatever you’d buy him for this summer.

It’s just a case of seeing whether anyone will take that chance.

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Arsenal fan since a young age, now a season ticket holder who enjoys writing, tweeting and making videos about the Gunners.