Nicolas Pepe has pulled out of international duty with the Ivory Coast after picking up an injury with Arsenal, the nation’s football federation has said.
Pepe arrived at the Emirates as a club-record £72m signing from Lille in the summer and started his first game in Arsenal’s 3-1 defeat to Liverpool.
Pepe’s injured with Arsenal? Five things to know…
- Pepe joined Arsenal from Lille for £72m in the summer.
- The 24-year-old provided his first assist in last week’s north London derby.
- But he has been forced to withdraw from international duty.
- The Ivory Coast claim it is due to an injury sustained with his club.
- Pepe will now return to north London to work on his fitness.
The winger then played the full 90 minutes of the Gunners’ 2-2 draw with north London rivals Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday, providing his first assist for the club.
However, ahead of friendlies with fellow African sides Tunisia and Benin, the Ivorian FA confirmed Pepe – who was Ligue 1’s second-highest goalscorer last season with 22 strikes – had pulled out of the squad due to an injury sustained with his club.
“Nicolas Pepe, injured with his club, came in to declare it late on Wednesday afternoon,” they said.
“As a reinforcement, the coach appealed to Bagayoko Mamadou.”
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The 24-year-old will now return to Arsenal’s London Colney training ground to work on his fitness ahead of the Gunners’ clash with Watford at Vicarage Road on September 15th.
Unai Emery’s men currently sit joint fourth in the Premier League table, having taken seven points from their opening four games.