Ivory Coast winger Nicolas Pepe has left Arsenal for Trabzonspor in Turkey after a four-year spell with the English club.
Pepe, formerly a club-record signing, left Arsenal on a free transfer with mutual consent, terminating his contract that was set to end in June 2024.
He swiftly completed his medical in Turkey and was presented as a Trabzonspor player.
Despite the team’s seventh-place finish in the Turkish Super Lig last season, the Ivorian oozed optimism for his new club, offering hope to the fans.
“I came here to become a champion and achieve success,” Pepe told the club’s media.
Pepe’s Arsenal journey began in August 2019 when he arrived from Nice for a hefty £72 million transfer fee.
During his time with Arsenal, he made 80 Premier League appearances, scoring 16 goals and contributing nine assists.
His last game for Arsenal took place in May 2022, and he spent the subsequent season on loan at his former club, Nice.
Now at 28 years old, Pepe is set for a fresh start at Trabzonspor, though they won’t be competing in European football this season.
He will face competition for a starting spot from players like Trezeguet and Mislav Orsic.
Pepe returned to London Colney last month, but he was not included in Mikel Arteta’s plans for the current season, which led to his move to Trabzonspor.
This decision allows him to play regularly, increasing his chances of being selected for the Ivory Coast squad in the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations.
While there were links to other destinations, including the Saudi Pro League and Besiktas, Pepe is now set to possibly make his Trabzonspor debut after the international break.
However, given his lack of competitive action since April due to a knee injury during his loan spell at OGC Nice, his return might be gradual.