Arsenal transfer news: Big claim emerges over 6ft 'enigma' facing 'make or break' 6 months

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta acknowledges the fans

African football expert Daniel Ekedo believes that Nicolas Pepe faces a crucial period in his Arsenal career between now and the end of the season if he remains at the Emirates this month.

The Gunners paid a club-record fee of £72m for Pepe back in 2019, but he has struggled to live up to his price-tag in the years since.

What’s the latest news involving Pepe?

The 6 foot winger is currently away on international duty with Ivory Coast at the Africa Cup of Nations, and this may be seen as a welcome break for him from club football after a torrid first half of the season.

Pepe has not started a league match since October, and is yet to score in the top-flight this term.

This has led to speculation linking him with a move away from Arsenal in January, with reports claiming that the north London club would consider selling him if they received an appropriate offer.

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What has Ekedo said about Pepe?

If Pepe does stay at Arsenal beyond this month, the former Equatorial Guinea international  Edeko feels that the 28-cap star needs to impress in the coming months, or he could be shown the exit door in the summer.

Speaking about Pepe, he told GIVEMESPORT: “For me, he remains a talent but something of an enigma. The next six months may be make or break for him as far as his Arsenal career is concerned.

“He has to knuckle down and seize his opportunity when it comes along, otherwise he may be playing his football somewhere else next season.” 

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Does Pepe deserve more opportunities at Arsenal?

Right now, it is hard to see where he could fit into the team.

Pepe is capable of operating from either wing, but Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli appear to have these positions tied down at the moment, and they have been two of the side’s brighter players this season.

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Therefore, if he is still at the club when he returns from international duty, Pepe faces a very tough task to get more game time any time soon.

However, there are still over four months of the campaign remaining, and all it takes is one injury or a player to lose form to open the door for Pepe.

If this does happen, then Pepe could still have a chance to prove his worth to Mikel Arteta between now and the end of the season. 

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