Key Arsenal star returns early from international duty after injury blow

Arsenal’s record signing Nicolas Pepe has returned early from international duty with the Ivory Coast confirming that he is struggling with an injury concern.

The 24-year-old has featured in each of the opening four Premier League games this season and out of those, he has played through the entire 90 minutes in the past two meetings against Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur.

Against the latter, the Ivorian grabbed his maiden assist in the thrilling 2-2 draw at the Emirates Stadium last weekend and it now seems that he is carrying an injury which has not been disclosed.

In a statement released by the Ivory Coast Football Association, it has been confirmed that Pepe has declared the injury and he will be replaced by Bagayoko Mamadou in the squad.

“Nicolas Pépé, injured with his club came to report his injury on Wednesday late afternoon. As a reinforcement, the coach appealed to Bagayoko Mamadou,” the statement, roughly translated read.

Pepe did not play any part for the Gunners during their pre-season tour and that has contributed towards his slow adaptation following the start of the league campaign.

Still, he has been impressive with his dribbling and movement at different stages and he just needs to improve on the end product to become a genuine goalscoring threat to the opposition.

Arsenal don’t return to Premier League action until a week on Sunday against Watford and hopefully, Pepe can make a swift comeback with the time frame due to the international break.

Unai Emery’s side are currently fifth on the table with seven points. They are just goal difference behind Crystal Palace for the final Champions League spot at present.


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