- Nicolas Pepe has differed with Mikel Arteta's decision to send him out on loan in France
- Pepe was deemed surplus to requirements at the Emirates Stadium following his sub-par performances
- To Arteta's credit, he has not missed the Ivorian's services as he angles to win his first premiership
Nicolas Pepe has disclosed that he disagreed with Mikel Arteta's decision to send him out on loan at the start of the season.
The winger was dispatched to French club Nice after enduring a rough spell since joining from Lille in 2019.
The record club signing failed to live up to his huge price tag and was among the 'deadwood' that Arteta shipped out as he embarked on his title challenge.
Despite missing close to two months with a knee injury, the Ivorian forward has scored 8 goals in 25 appearances for Nice. He has suggested that he could have helped Arsenal's title ambitions had Arteta kept him on.
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" I could have been important for the club, but those are the coach’s choices," as quoted by Sportskeeda.
Why Arteta 'dumped' Pepe
Pepe's game time at Arsenal was hampered by the rapid rise of Bukayo Saka, who transformed from a left-wing back to cement his position in the right wing.
Gabriel Martinelli and Martin Odegaard's brilliance also meant that the 27-year-old had to settle for a place on the bench. His long-term future remains in doubt, but it is hard to see where he could fit into the current Gunners set-up. His number 19 jersey was handed to January acquisition Leandro Trossard.
He is currently keen on helping Nice qualify for European football next season.
"I am very happy at Nice. There are two important months to come for this club. I want to concentrate on that and I’m not sure after that. There will be discussions."
Nice are currently seventh in Ligue 1 standings, 6 points shy of Europa Conference League places.
Bukayo Saka's new deal
At the same time, Sports Brief has reported that Arsenal are reportedly ready to make Bukayo Saka the club's top earner in a move aimed at fending off potential admirers.
Saka has been one of Arsenal's standout players this season, with his contributions putting the club in a pole position to win the Premier League this term.
The winger is enjoying a stunning individual campaign and continues to impress with every game.