Arteta includes £72m winger among ‘several dispensable’ Arsenal stars
Mikel Arteta has included Arsenal winger Nicolas Pepe among “several dispensable” first team players who would be able to leave, according to reports.
The Ivory Coast international shone for Lille during the 2018/19 season. He scored 22 times for them in Ligue 1 that term.
This form tempted Arsenal to sign him and they paid a fee of around £72m to bring him to the Premier League.
Arsenal patience for Arteta may be running short again
Pepe has struggled over the last couple of years. He has only netted once from his nine appearances across all competitions this season.
The 26-year-old has not featured in the Premier League since the end of October. Football London are reporting that Pepe is among “several senior first team players who are seen as dispensable by Arteta.”
They add that the winger will “assess his options” in January with the view to him securing a loan move away from Arsenal.
Speaking earlier this week, Gary Neville said he believes Arteta wants to sell Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang:
“There will be a problem with Aubameyang off the back of this game,” Neville said.
“I don’t think he’ll like the idea of Nketiah coming on. I don’t think he’ll like the idea of being a sub full-stop.
“There’s always that little bit of a bug there between Arteta and Aubameyang.
“I know he’s the captain, but he leaves him out and it just feels like it’s something a little bit awkward. It’s going to cause a problem.
“I suspect if Arteta could probably get money for him and get someone else they probably would.
“And I bet if Aubameyang could move on he probably would as well. It maybe could just turn a little bit sour.”
Aubameyang missed an excellent chance late on for Arsenal and Neville was critical of his technique, the former Man Utd right-back continued: “When this chance comes to him – he makes a good move then moves outside – it’s one of them that’s hard to play as a side foot across to that far corner.
“You almost want to go with your left foot and guide it, bend it past Pickford into the far corner. It’s a little bit awkward, a little bit unnatural in terms of how he’s tried to finish it.
“It’s not for me to tell him how to finish, but it was really difficult to hit that one with his side foot across the goalkeeper as it’s not coming back for you.”