Nicolas Pépé: “I could have been important for Arsenal, but those are the coach’s choices.”

Arsenal loanee Nicolas Pépé (27) has said that he is happy at OGC Nice, whilst vocalising disagreement with the choices made by manager Mikel Arteta. 

Pépé has played 25 games for Les Aiglons this season and has scored eight goals in that time. The Ivory Coast international is now returning to full fitness after missing two months with a knee issue. The Arsenal loanee will likely have a large role to play for Nice between now and the end of the season, with the club still competing on two fronts. Le Gym are looking to ensure European football next season, either by finishing fifth or higher or by winning the UEFA Europa Conference League. 

However, Pépé’s long-term future remains up in the air. Earlier in March, L’Équipe revealed that the former Lille OSC winger was open to staying at Nice, however, no definitive decision has been made. Speaking in a press conference, transcribed by France Bleu AzurPépé said he was happy at the club, adding that there will be discussions over his future. 

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,” said Pépé. 

When Pépé’s season-long loan at the Allianz Riviera expires in the summer, he will have just 12 months remaining on his Arsenal contract, and the player admitted he is unsure of the intentions of his parent club, whilst also expressing disappointment with Arteta’s choices. 

I don’t know what Arsenal want. I still have a lot of friends there. I could have been important for the club, but those are the coach’s choices,” concluded Pépé.

GFFN | Luke Entwistle

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