OGC Nice appear to be pleased with Nicolas Pepe’s season so far, but they’re planning to wait to make a decision on his long-term future.
Nicolas Pépé has featured regularly for OGC Nice on his loan from Arsenal this season so far, making 19 appearances between Ligue 1 and the Europa Conference League.
The winger has scored six goals so far, splitting his time between playing on the right wing and playing up front.
According to the print edition of L’Equipe on Saturday, 9th-place Nice feel that Pépé is having a great season so far. However, they’re planning to wait to see his performances during the second half of the season before making a decision on his future.
Pépé only signed for Nice on a straight loan, without an option or obligation to buy, so there are no guarantees over what happens next.
The winger could still link back up with the Arsenal squad for the final year of his contract, or he could join Nice permanently, or he could move somewhere else entirely.
But it’s certainly true that both Arsenal and Pépé will be in a stronger position if he continues to make a positive impression during the second half of the season.
At the very least, that should be enough to convince Nice to pursue him, if not others.
With Bukayo Saka continuing to prove himself one of the stars of the Arsenal squad at a much younger age than Pépé, it’s hard to see the Ivory Coast winger ever breaking back into Mikel Arteta’s lineup.
The pursuit of Mykhaylo Mudryk also doesn’t help any Arsenal ambitions Pépé might have, as the Ukrainian winger can play out on the right.
Even if the potential January signing plays exclusively on the left, he’d free up the likes of Gabriel Martinelli and Reiss Nelson to feature on the right if required.
An Arsenal exit seems like the best thing for Pépé at this point, but it’s up to him to make himself an attractive signing in the second half of the campaign.