Arsenal are already feeling the financial strain during the coronavirus pandemic so could they regret splashing £72m on Nicolas Pepe last summer ahead of the upcoming transfer window?
Arsenal may reportedly have to sell up to six players this summer to help them raise funds having splashed the cash on Nicolas Pepe.
The Gunners broke their transfer record by forking out £72m to sign the winger from Lille.
Arsenal breaking the bank for Pepe came as a surprise to many with reports all summer of the club having a limited transfer budget.
However, the north London club managed to spread out the payments to Lille over his five-year deal.
But with clubs set to take a financial hit during the coronavirus pandemic and potentially lose millions more if the season is cancelled, Arsenal may have to cash in.
According to Bleacher Report, as many as six players could be shown the door to help them continue to pay off Pepe’s transfer and avoid any further financial difficulties ahead.
The report doesn’t name the players who could be put up for sale but Gunners fans know only too well the big wages some of their stars pocket.
Arsenal players have so far agreed a 12.5% pay cut to their wages with Mesut Ozil reportedly on £350,000 a week.
Meanwhile, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s future remains uncertain with the Gabon international yet to sign a new deal.
The likes of Barcelona have shown interest but it’s unclear if Arsenal would be willing to sell in the summer with his contract expiring in 2021.
As for Pepe, he is yet to live up to his price tag and will need to finish the season strongly to appease some of his critics.
But for now he still has plenty to learn from Arteta, who in March revealed his plan to get the best out of the Frenchman.
“I’ll show him footage of what we want and on the training ground I will make him defend in situations where he is full-back and I am the winger,” he said.
“He has to feel the moments when the ball is in a position where you are weak and, depending on the steps you take, how it affects the opponents.
“He needs to know where are the spaces for the strikers and when they want the ball delivered in certain areas.
It’s all part of a process.”