Arsenal legend, Alan Smith has urged his former club to get rid of winger, Nicolas Pepe this summer even if they make a huge loss.
Smith believes it will be a ‘bonus’ for Mikel Arteta’s team if Arsenal can sell Pepe, who they bought for £72 million from Lille.
Pepe joined Arsenal from Lille in 2019 for £72 million on a five-year contract (Transfermarkt), but the Ivory Coast international has been a monumental flop.
The 27-year-old has scored just 27 goals in 112 appearances for the north London club and has fallen down Arteta’s pecking order for attacking options.
And Smith has now advised Arsenal to go down a similar road to the way they released Mesut Ozil and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Recall that Ozil and Aubameyang were on huge wages before having their contracts terminated.
Speaking to The Express, Smith said: “As a lot of clubs find out, getting rid of Premier League players when they are on such good contracts is so difficult. At times, Arsenal have had to take hits on Aubameyang and Ozil just to get them out of the door.
“It does take a long time to turn the squad over. You can get players out on loan, but they come back again. Pepe is the big one because they bought him for over £70million. They are not going to get anything like that back. Nothing like it.”
He continued: “It was one of the worst transfer amounts, not as bad as Lukaku, but it was up there. He does not appear to be Arteta’s cup of tea.
“He is not consistent and not many coaches like that. So if they could get Pepe out of the door, then that would be a bonus.”