Nicolas Pepe, Arsenal’s club-record signing, has reportedly made a decision on whether he will return to the Gunners at the end of this season after his loan spell at French Ligue one side Nice. According to reports in France as per The Metro, Pepe is open to staying at Nice for another season.
Pepe joined Arsenal in a £72 million deal from Lille in 2019 and was loaned to Nice in the 2022 summer transfer window. The French club does not have a buy option, and they are yet to make a decision on whether to buy him as he scored six goals for them this season before he got injured for months.
Arsenal is currently first on the Premier League table with 69 points after 28 games but are closely followed by second-placed Manchester City, which has 61 points plus a game in hand. The Gunners’ young wingers, Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli who replaced Pepe, have been impressive this season. Saka has scored ten goals and made eleven assists while Martinelli has scored thirteen goals and made two assists.
Pepe will have one year remaining on his deal when this season ends. It remains to be seen if Arsenal will recall him or extend his loan spell at Nice. However, Pepe’s reported openness to staying at Nice for another season could suggest that he is not keen on returning to Arsenal just yet.
Pepe’s time at Arsenal has been mixed since his arrival in 2019. He has shown flashes of brilliance but has struggled with consistency. His loan spell at Nice seems to have rejuvenated him as he has been one of their standout players this season.
If Pepe decides to stay at Nice for another season, it could be an excellent opportunity for him to continue his development and gain more consistency before returning to Arsenal or moving elsewhere. However, if Arsenal decides to recall him or extend his loan spell elsewhere, it could also be an opportunity for him to prove himself and cement his place in the team.
In conclusion, Nicolas Pepe’s future remains uncertain as he weighs up his options ahead of next season. Whether he returns to Arsenal or stays at Nice for another year remains to be seen, but one thing is certain; he will need consistent performances wherever he ends up if he wants to fulfill his potential as a top-class player.