Confirmed: Most expensive African player in history returns to ArsenalPublished: June 09, 2023
With a statement on their official website, French Ligue 1 club OGC Nice have confirmed that Ivory Coast international Nicolas Pépé will not be joining the Eaglets on a full deal.
Pépé joined OGC Nice last summer on a season-long loan with no option to buy him on a permanent basis included in the agreement.
The former Lille winger became the most expensive African player following his move to Arsenal for a fee of eighty million euros in the summer of 2019.
The 28-year-old has now returned to his parent club Arsenal ahead of the start of pre-season preparations early next month.
Pépé impressed in the first half of the 2022-2023 campaign, scoring eight goals, but a knee injury limited him to just three games from a possible nineteen in the French top-flight in the second half of the season.
He is leaving OGC Nice with twenty eight games played in all competitions, comprising nineteen in Ligue 1, eight in the Conference League and one in the Coupe de France.
Pépé has not been called up by Ivory Coast manager Jean-Louis Gasset for the Elephants 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying match against Zambia this month due to injury.
Meanwhile, former Chelsea midfielder of Nigerian descent Ross Barkley will be released upon the expiry of his contract on June 30, 2023.
The Liverpool native scored four goals in 28 appearances for OGC Nice
Photo Credit: arsenal.com
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