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Arsenal: Arteta can ditch Pepe with move for Moussa Diaby

Arsenal’s record signing Nicolas Pepe finally appears to be on his way out of the Emirates Stadium, and Mikel Arteta could land a dream alternative in the 27-year-old’s place.

What’s the news?

The Spaniard could be set to offload the Ivory Coast forward in this transfer window, with a move to Ligue 1 outfit Nice edging closer after the player’s agent was spotted at their stadium on Sunday.

The club-record £72m signing has failed to live up to his billing since he joined in 2019, and with Arteta now moulding the squad into one that he sees fit to chase a top-four Premier League finish, Pepe’s time appears to be up.

The 40-year-old may already have a dream alternative to the Ivory Coast international, and it’s a target which makes complete sense.

No-brainer for Arsenal

Arsenal are already keen on signing Spanish youngster Yeremy Pino from Villarreal this summer, but it could be a swoop for another reported target in Bayer Leverkusen star Moussa Diaby which would be the ideal replacement for Pepe.

Having been dubbed a “disaster” by French broadcaster Matt Spiro in the past, the £140k-p/w Ivorian winger has scored just 27 goals and registered 21 assists in 112 games for Arsenal during his spell at the club, a modest return considering the financial outlay which was spent on his arrival.

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This is in stark contrast to Diaby, who – in the same three-season spell as Pepe – has scored 35 goals and grabbed 38 assists, showing that he offers a bigger goalscoring threat.

The 23-year-old had a wonderful 2021/22 campaign with 25 goal contributions, compared to just three for Pepe, and the Frenchman also achieved a 50.9% shots on target percentage, far better than the Arsenal man’s 30.4%.

The Bundesliga attacker could be available for a fee of €70m (£59.4m), which is reportedly the German club’s asking price for the player.

Should Arsenal sign Diaby?





At only 23 years of age and with eight senior appearances for France to his name, it looks like Diaby is ready to make the next step and continue his astonishing rise.

Arteta could make a big statement of intent by signing the Leverkusen winger, who would certainly add an extra dimension to the Arsenal forward line, while also enabling the 40-year-old to jettison Pepe in the process.

Considering the two forwards’ respective numbers, as outlined above, it seems a no-brainer for the Gunners boss.