Nicolas Pepe was presented to the OGC Nice fans on Thursday night after completing his loan move from Arsenal was confirmed.

Nicolas Pepe after signing for OGC Nice (Photo via OGCNice.com)
Nicolas Pepe after signing for OGC Nice (Photo via OGCNice.com)

On Thursday evening, Arsenal confirmed that Nicolas Pepe is moving on loan to OGC Nice for the 2022/23 campaign, with Nice themselves adding that there’s no purchase option in the deal.

Nice had a Europa Conference League qualifier on Thursday against Maccabi Tel Aviv, which came much too soon for Pepe to be involved in the fixture.

But it did mean the Nice fans were the first people to get confirmation of the signing, as the winger was brought out onto the pitch to greet them.

The fan response was clearly one of enthusiasm and excitement, and it should be good for Pepe to get back to being in that kind of environment, where he’s the star man and a guaranteed starter with the fans on his side.

That wasn’t the case at Arsenal in 2022. The player isn’t exactly blameless in how he fell out of favour with the Gunners, but he now has a chance to start anew.

LONDON, ENGLAND: Junior Firpo of Leeds United marks Nicolas Pepe of Arsenal during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Leeds United at Emirates Stadium on May 08, 2022. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND: Junior Firpo of Leeds United marks Nicolas Pepe of Arsenal during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Leeds United at Emirates Stadium on May 08, 2022. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

With Pepe gone, Arsenal have the chance to put his saved wages towards an alternative, if they can successfully negotiate an incoming. But The Athletic report that nothing is yet close.

Nice won Thursday’s match against Maccabi Tel Aviv 2-0, progressing to the Europa Conference League group stage.

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