Saturday 21 September 2019

Arsenal’s Nicolas Pepe leaves Ivory Coast training camp due to injury

The 24-year-old did not get a full pre-season behind him.

Arsenal forward Nicolas Pepe played the full 90 minutes of the north London derby (John Walton/PA)
Arsenal forward Nicolas Pepe played the full 90 minutes of the north London derby (John Walton/PA)

By Jim van Wijk, PA

Arsenal forward Nicolas Pepe has left the Ivory Coast training camp after reporting an injury, according to the nation’s football federation.

The Gunners’ club-record signing played the full 90 minutes of the 2-2 Premier League draw against Tottenham on September 1 before heading off on international duty.

In a squad update on the Ivorian Football Federation ahead of the friendly matches against Benin and Tunisia, the governing body said: “Nicolas Pepe, injured with his club, came in to declare it late on Wednesday afternoon.

“As a reinforcement, the coach appealed to Bagayoko Mamadou.”

Pepe is reported to have now returned to Arsenal’s London Colney base, where he will continue to work on his fitness ahead of the Premier League match at Watford on September 15.

The forward, 24, did not get a full pre-season behind him after playing at the Africa Cup of Nations before joining the Gunners in a £72million deal from Lille on August 1.

It has been suggested an agreement had been reached between the Ivorian Football Federation and Arsenal that Pepe would join up with the Elephants squad in Deauville, but was scheduled to resume his fitness work back at the club rather than play in the friendly matches.

Arsenal have been contacted for comment by the PA news agency.

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