Thursday, May 30, 2024

Pepe linked with Besiktas move

In a summer when Arsenal have bought big, the focus has turned to departures, and one of the players at the top of that list is Nicolas Pepe.

The club’s former record signing has not returned to London since a somewhat underwhelming loan spell at Nice finished in May, and it’s clear he is not in Mikel Arteta’s plans.

However, there hasn’t much been much in the way of rumoured interest in the 28 year old, in part due to how far his stock has fallen, as well as the fact he’s on a very substantial salary at Arsenal.

Last summer, Sporting Director Edu was very open about the difficulties of moving on players like that, saying, “If the player is above 26, 27 and not performing, big salary, no chance.

Now, according to Transfermarkt, Pepe could be on his way to Turkey to join Besiktas. An article on the Turkish version of their website says:

According to the information obtained by Transfermarkt, it was learned that Besiktas is about to add Nicolas Pepe, who plays for Arsenal, to its staff and that the player is in the process of terminating his contract with the club.

Long-time transfer observers will be aware that very often rumours that involve Turkish clubs do not come to fruition, but usually the source is a bit more spurious than this one.

The termination of his Arsenal contract (a pay off, in other words), would make some sense, although it remains to be seen if there is any fee coming our way. Given Besiktas bid just £2m for Rob Holding earlier this summer, chances are it’s not much if it exists at all.

Arsenal do need to move players on, currently there are five goalkeepers and thirty outfield players listed in the first team squad on the official website. Manager Mikel Arteta called for greater depth, but made it clear the numbers on hand right now are ‘unsustainable’.

We’re still a little skeptical of this one, but we’ll give it a hopeful four on the Poo-O-Meter.

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Hopefully this will be one of the last players where we have to pay out on contracts just to get them out the door.

Johnny 4 Hats

I still don’t know how this signing went so wrong.

Arteta loves playing with introverted wingers.


Well by all accounts Pepe is an extrovert. So, there it is!

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

Pepe’s problem is that he is not a fighter but chose to have a career in cut-throat football. In a recent interview, he spoke about a situation that happened in training. He was sloppy not catching passes and Arteta stopped the session, crossed the entire pitch and told him in French: “The next time you miss a ball, I will kick you out of the training”. You expect a player fighting for a place to be on fire in training instead. Guys like Saliba apparently managed the language problem well. Not Pépé, he almost only communicates with the french-speaking players.… Read more »


I don’t disagree with this at all, Pepe has never had the right mentality for this team but I wish him all the best for his future. My point was just about hoping our recruitment is better now and we’re not in this situation again.


Alexis Sanchez barely learnt a word of English but what a fighter he was.

Funsho Patrick

Naaa…I thought we overpaid for Fabio Viera and the jury is still out on Declan rice….nobody else was in the market for Viera and Pepe…… statistically 70% of purchases over 70m flop…..even city doesn’t play in that territory….65m is where they cap it mostly….. There’ll always be hits and misses….

Bleeding Gums Murphy

Absolutely. Everybody knows except Arteta and Edu that you never pay 70 million, offer 65 and if they don’t accept that walk away. It’s known the extra 5 million will turn the player into shit. Come on Arteta, get with it.

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)



Absolutely but I don’t think he’s on the sort of astronomical wages Pepe is so he’s not so much of an issue. *I don’t have any facts to back this up*


Oh please. Please.

Safe hands

It seems surprising to me that his stock has fallen so far that one of the Saudi clubs, or an American side, don’t fancy at least matching his wages for a couple of years and taking him on a free. In those type of leagues he’d be great because he wouldn’t be pressed as much. He seems to me like a Carlos Vela type player…….. In this scenario is it the player that has realised he can get a big pay off if he stays put , and then a big signing on fee somewhere else, so he’s just waiting… Read more »

Skinny Ricki

Agree. It’s not like he was a bad for us: produced decent number of goals and assists when he played and had moments of sublime skill. He was burdened by his huge fee, which he didn’t live up to – as well as Bukayo’s emergence as a world class talent.


Thanks Don Raul!


For those who remember why George Graham left the club and how, the fact that Sanllehi was allowed to just leave with no consequence for this very shady deal (among others) is a sign of how times have changed.


What was the club supposed to do, sue Raul – when the club sanctioned his actions? Try and get him arrested? There isn’t a lot a club can do.

Raul is a piece of shyte, for sure. But come on man. this isnt kindergarten. Club learned a lesson the hard way. Thats unfortuante but just how it goes sometimes.


What Raul did with this Pepe signing is akin to what Bortimeu did at Barcelona, ruined the club for years, fucking double agent. Pepe problem was his lack of effort in his defensive work and sloppyness on the ball, much like Maximillian at Newcastle. We can’t afford any more blunders like this which is why im wishing Havertz all the success, we are not United who can waste 80m on Maguire, or 75m on that scam Anton to name a few. The noise over Rice price is nonsense, United pay 70m for a 30+ old players, put that into contest.… Read more »


The point being they didn’t learn the lesson with george Graham so they did make the mistake again.

Point Percy at the porcelain

And George Graham delivered many important trophies – he’s worthy of a statue!
Sanliehi on the other hand should have been kicked out of the club and pelted with eggs.


Nothing beats a good public egging.


A statue for GG is not a bad idea actually.

Just another yankee gunner

Why did George Graham leave the club?


Init. Come on Saudi, giz 72 mil and he’s all yours

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

I don’t think he likes that kind of transfers although he is now in a situation where he will be forced to. He said before Arsenal, Lille wanted to make money out of him by sending him to China and he wasn’t interested at all.


James Benge reported Saudi interest in Pepe, I think it involved matching his current wages but as is tax free is actually a pay rise. But Pepe wanted even more to go there and so the deal fell through. Bit more in this article and James’ twitter.


Pound for pound Pepe has to be just about the worst signing the club has ever made. Cost a fortune and did nothing.

BTW: it looks like David Raya is on his way in.

We are about to sign the wrong Brentford player: it should have been Toney.


I prefer to sign players who can actually play and not those serving a ban


With the ban we could probably pick him up for a bargain price. And he could come in over the second half of the season and be nice and fresh.

We need another striker, not a goalkeeper.


cmon, fats, you and i both know that toney is someone sp*rs try to sign in desperation after kane leaves in the last week of the window.
if we’re signing an attacker from brentford, mbuemo is a better option as he’s not banned, can play in multiple positions (including from the right), and younger.


There’s no way Mikel would buy a gambling addict, not to mention the nasty swipes at Arsenal that Toney has made in the past. A scummy person regardless of what he could do on a football pitch.

Heavenly Chapecoense

Totally agree. Knowing the propensity of football structures to reduce or overturn sanctions themselves imposed, we may have him playing in two months.


Pepe is a very long way from being the worst signing Arsenal have ever made. Had some good games and scored some important goals and several assists too. He even helped us win the FA Cup in 1920. Was inconsistent but still had several good moments. We need a good back up keeper to give competition to Ramsdale. I believe Raya would be an excellent signing. Turner obviously wants to leave and frankly was a liability whenever he played.


I didn’t realise that Pepe was that old! Still going despite playing in 1920 is some feat!!!

A Different George

Imagine how fast he would have been if he hadn’t been wearing those heavy boots.



We paid 70 million for a player who was no better than, say, Eddie Nketia.

We wuz robbed!

David C

Have to back up Fatz on this one. Insane amount of money was spent on Pepe when Emery wanted Zaha who would have been cheaper and much better for us.

I’m sure we can all agree we’re heading in a way better direction lately with regards to transfers.


Considering his cost, contribution and how it looks like ending, I think he’s safely the worst buy we’ve ever made and the contract termination wraps that up pretty clearly. If it goes through then he will be arguably the worst buy in Premier League history. Chelsea are doing their best to take that accolade from us on a few fronts, although they seem to sell at weirdly inflated values. Still, Lukaku is one to watch…


Ivan Toney: the definition of overrated Englishman.
I hope to hell the club never signs him.


He’s an “overrated” player who scored 20 goals in the Premier League last season – playing for an average side.


I’m with fats on this one. Jesus has serious fitness worries, neither of his understudies have the same nuisance factor to cause chaos for defenders so our wide boys can keep doing the biz.
Toney’s the only affordable option (with the prem league experience Arteta wants).


Toney is a match fixer who is a disgrace to the sport.


Pepe is actually brilliant at what he does but his repertoire is very narrow. The premier league is full of clever full backs who can force him onto his right foot and make him look useless. That’s not his fault. He could still be devastating in some other league.




“I have nothing to do with this Pepe deal, I condemn all sort of allegations towards me in this regard.”

— Yours Kindly
Raul Sanllehi


That’s just lovely.
Now he will be known as £72 Nicolas Pepe…


We’d be lucky to get £72 for him now.


Hmm, the same Besiktas who offered €2.5m for Rob Holding? Let’s wait and see, but I won’t hold my breath on this one.


The same Besiktas who couldn’t even pay Mo’s wages when he was on loan. Nico Pepe isn’t a good fit for Arsenal but I’m sure there must be some decent clubs in France that would give him a chance.

Spanish Gooner

Might be in the minority but if we can’t sell Pepé I’d like to keep him in the squad for next year. We should be setting a precedent of no more pay-offs at this stage in the process, and Pepé isn’t quite as old or on quite as high wages as players we’ve been forced to pay off in the past.


I don’t hate the idea. Just keep him around in case of an injury emergency. I think we need that space in the wages though. And it’s a bummer for everyone at the club to have an outcast around. I’m guilty of it too at times but I’m not a fan of everyone piling on our bad transfers. They didn’t choose to go for what they did. It’s not like he wanted to go out with a whimper at a big club. Even players like Cedric, yes he’s not good, but I don’t buy that he’s a hanger on or… Read more »


There’s simply not enough space in the squad – he won’t be able to be registered. He either goes or he gets paid to not play.


We would have been taking the same kind of Pepe risk had we signed Mudryk – a bright young winner with maybe just a season of success under his belt.

And to think we bought Trossard instead, at a fraction of the cost.


Stylistically feels as if it would fit.
And Pepe gets to play in Europe.

Pepe and Cedric played together on the right hand side, can’t we sell them as a package to MLS?

Blackpool Albert

It’s a shame. It was maybe his first or second league match where I saw him receive the ball with his back to the goal and a defender flying in behind him. I swear, Pepe somehow nutmegged the defender, then split in two like an amoeba before dribbling another 10 yards and providing a beautiful assist. There’s no doubt the man is skilled. It’s not his fault that we forked over £72 million clams for him. It’s just a shame he couldn’t tactically fit in and that’s on management. Godspeed Nico!


Exactly! Very gifted and also committed, just a bit of a one trick pony but a seriously impressive trick. Never fitted this club or this league despite his best effort.

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