After a thoroughly disappointing spell at Arsenal, winger Nicolas Pepe has departed the club for Turkish Super Lig side Trabzonspor. The Ivory Coast international spent time on loan with France with Nice last season, and has now permanently departed Emirates Stadium.
The 28-year-old was a £72million signing when prizing him away from Lille in 2019, but never really managed to find his feet during his time in the Premier League. Pepe was a record-signing for Arsenal at the time, and his best Premier League goal return for the club came in 2021/21 when firing ten goals.
Trabzonspor managed to confirm the signing today as the transfer window in Turkey is still open for another week or so. Therefore, Pepe may not necessarily be the last Premier League playing to be unveiled in this part of the world in the coming days. Nevertheless, this is a deal that suits all parties, with Pepe clear that he had no future with The Gunners under Mikel Arteta.
Pepe makes the move looking to be successful, and he links up with a team that have finished in the top-six in all bar of the last 21 seasons in the Turkish top flight. This included a memorable league title triumph in 2021/22, and Pepe will be looking to play his part in adding to that.
One big question is what are the exact in's and out's of this deal, and how much of the £72million Arsenal paid Lille have they recouped, if anything.
Nicolas Pepe to Trabzonspor: The full details
All-in-all, this transaction has been a bit of a disaster for Arsenal from an financial point of view. As mentioned, they paid a whopping £72million for the player when signing him, which was deemed a huge sum of money at the time, coming some years before those type of prices became the norm in the transfer window.
Trabzonspor have managed to secure Pepe on a free transfer, meaning Arsenal are merely getting him off the wage bill and nothing else. The fact he was surplus to requirements meant Arteta just didn't want him hanging around the club. It is understood the player was granted a free transfer, purely to ensure this deal would go through. This is bad business from Arsenal from a financial aspect, but they just want to forget this whole episode and move onwards.
This financial hit does not make for good reading for Arsenal, but this is all now a thing of the past and will look to learn from such mistakes. As for the player, he has found a new home where he is wanted, and now immediately becomes a key player at his new club.
The Daily Mail reports that Pepe has signed a one-year contract with Trabzonspor, which in itself may suggest that he does not intend to stick around for too long in this part of the world. One idea is for him to perform well in this league, attract some possible transfer suitors and then look to move on a free at the end of the season. First things first, he needs to get back playing and doing what he is clearly capable of, which is why Arsenal forked out £72million in the first place.