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Pépé leaves with barely a murmur

When Nicolas Pépé signed for Arsenal in the summer of 2019 there was tremendous excitement around the deal.

After all, the club had just paid a club record fee of £72 million to bring in a player who had scored 35 goals in 74 appearances for Lille.

This week he finally left the Emirates for just £3 million, which is better than nothing. In fact, at one stage, the Gunners were prepared to pay him off so that he could resume his career in Turkey. He had been in discussions with Beşiktaşm before finally deciding to move to Trabzonspor.

It has turned out to be a costly mistake, and one that had its genesis in the transfer itself. The manager at the time, Unai Emery, wanted a right footed left winger, with Wilfried Zaha his preference.

Instead he got a left-footed right winger, who struggled to adapt to life in England, and who, once Mikel Arteta took the reins, proved not up to the defensive duties required of him.

Pépé can count himself unfortunate that his time in North London coincided with the emergence of Bukayo Saka into one of the best young wingers in the world.

But the sad fact is, that his leaving the club has barely been noticed by most of the club’s fans.

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