- Ivorian star Nicolas Pepe is currently on loan at French club Nice from Arsenal
- He is reportedly unwilling to return to the Emirates Stadium and wants to stay
- The move may not materialise as the club's management want more from Pepe
Ivory Coast winger, Nicolas Pepe does not want to return to Arsenal despite the Gunners’ ascendancy, according to reports.
Pepe has had an underwhelming spell in North London since making a mega-money £72 million transfer from Lille in 2019.
At the time, there was a lot of hype surrounding the winger as he had come off an impressive season with the French side, scoring 22 goals in his final season.
However, at Arsenal, Pepe only managed 16 goals in 80 appearances in the Premier League.
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Last summer, he was deemed as surplus to requirements at Arsenal, especially after the arrivals of Marquinhos and Fabio Vieira.
How Pepe performed in Nice
According to stats by Transfermkt, Pepe has managed eight goals as a Nice player this season.
Part of the reason his numbers are not up is the fact that he has been struggling with tendinitis in his knee and only recently returned to football action after a spell on the sidelines.
Reports from L’Équipe now claim Pepe wants to convert his loan move to Nice into a permanent transfer, but it may not be as straightforward.
The club is open to making the move permanent but the top brass still want to see more from the winger. In total, he has made 17 appearances for Nice this season, creating 22 chances.
At Arsenal, he only has one year remaining on his current contract and Mikel Arteta is likely to want to offload him.
Arsenal superstar ruled out injured
Sports Brief also reported on the blow Arsenal suffered after Takehiro Tomiyasu sustained a serious injury during the Sporting Lisbon tie last week.
The Japanese superstar has formed a key part of Arteta's squad this term, playing an influential role in the team's Premier League title push.
However, the latest injury to his knee now means he is out for the remainder of the campaign and he is expected to undergo surgery.