Mikel Arteta has moved to shut down any discussion that Ivory Coast winger Nicolas Pépé would be allowed to leave Arsenal in January, either on loan or permanently.
Instead, the focus is on the player looking to up his game, and getting back to the levels that he has previously shown.
The 26-year is the club’s record signing, having joined from Lille in 2019 for a fee of £72 million. Last season he was the club’s second highest goal scorer, but he has struggled for gme time this campaign, with Bukayo Saka preferred in his favoured position on the right side of attack.
When added if the club were prepared to entertain offers for the player, Arteta said “it is not the moment to talk about that”.
In any event, like the three other African players in the Gunners squad, Pépé is likely to miss the end of December and much of January because of his likely involvement with AFCON.
Andy is an exiled English football fan living in Cyprus. He loves all sports but football is his abiding passion, and he still has dreams every now and then about scoring the winning goal in a Wembley Cup Final, even though his playing days are long gone. He follows most major leagues, across Europe at least, and has a favoured team in each. When he’s not watching, listening, reading or downloading podcasts about football, he spend his time worrying about his beloved Arsenal.