Nicolas Pepe withdraws from Ivory Coast squad to work on fitness with Arsenal

Nicolas Pepe in action for Arsenal vs Burnley
Image: Nicolas Pepe did not pull out of the Ivory Coast squad through injury

Arsenal forward Nicolas Pepe has withdrawn from the Ivory Coast squad to work on his fitness in London.

It is understood the 24-year-old does not have an injury and will return to London Colney to prepare for the upcoming Premier League fixtures.

Pepe did spend a short time with his national squad during the international break but both Arsenal and the Ivorian federation agreed it was best that he did not feature in the coming friendlies against Benin and Tunisia.

The 24-year-old joined Arsenal from Lille for a club-record £72m fee in August but was late to join up with the squad following his exploits at the African Cup of Nations in the summer, where Ivory Coast reached the quarter-finals.

Nicolas Pepe helped Ivory Coast reach the AFCON quarter finals this summer
Image: Pepe helped Ivory Coast reach the AFCON quarter-finals this summer, eventually losing to Algeria

Pepe made his Premier League debut from the bench on the opening day of the season at Newcastle, with his first start coming in the 3-1 defeat to Liverpool at Anfield before his first taste of the north London derby ended in a 2-2 draw with Tottenham.

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He is yet to open his Premier League scoring account, but will be hoping to rectify this in Arsenal's next match away at Watford on September 15, live on Sky Sports Premier League.

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