Atletico Madrid scout admits he really wanted Nicolas Pepe

Nicolas Pepe of Arsenal during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Southampton FC at Emirates Stadium on November 23, 2019 in London, United Kingdom.

Arsenal won the race for Nicolas Pepe - but are now barely using him.

Nicolas Pepe of Arsenal during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Southampton FC at Emirates Stadium on November 23, 2019 in London, United Kingdom.

Atletico Madrid scout Eric Olhats has been quoted by Get French Football News as saying that he wanted to sign Nicolas Pepe.

Atletico underwent something of a rebuild over the summer, with Diego Simeone's side requiring a host of changes ahead of the new season.

Out went Antoine Griezmann, Diego Godin, Juanfran, Filipe Luis, Lucas Hernandez and Rodri, with Simeone somewhat tearing his side apart.

 

Joao Felix was the big addition, but Renan Lodi, Felipe, Marcos Llorente, Kieran Trippier and Hector Herrera were also new arrivals, and they currently sit sixth in the La Liga table.

One other player they could have signed was winger Pepe, who had starred with Lille after smashing 35 league goals in his two seasons at the French side.

The Ivorian ended up joining Arsenal in a club-record deal, and whilst there was excitement about his arrival, it has all been a little disappointing so far.

Pepe has only played 45 minutes of Arsenal's last three games, with both Unai Emery and now Freddie Ljungberg leaving him on the bench to the bemusement of fans, with the Ivorian barely being used at the moment.

Nicolas Pepe of Arsenal FC in action during the UEFA Europa League group F match between Vitoria Guimaraes and Arsenal FC at Estadio Dom Afonso Henriques on November 06, 2019 in Guimaraes,...

Now, Atletico scout Olhats claims he'd have 'really' liked to sign Pepe having suggested him, as well as Ramy Bensebaini and Benjamin Bourigeaud.

“There are always players that you get a soft spot for,” said Olhats. “Last year, we were looking at Pepe, I would’ve really liked us to bring him in. Bensebaini as well. Yes (I put these names to the Atletico board), but you know how it is, for each position there are three, or four or five names. And I am not the one who decides. Bourigeaud is another one,” he added.

That just goes to show that Arsenal do have a big talent on their hands, and if they don't use him, there may be a queue of clubs waiting in the wings.

Nicolas Pepe of Arsenal during the UEFA Europa League group F match between Arsenal FC and Vitoria Guimaraes at Emirates Stadium on October 24, 2019 in London, United Kingdom.

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