Nicolas Pepe has left the Ivory Coast training camp after reporting an injury, according to the nation’s football federation. However, Dani Ceballos was the star of the show during Spain’s win over Romania. The Arsenal star, 23, played a sublime pass before the assist as Paco Alcacer doubled Spain’s lead in Bucharest.
Pepe, The Gunners’ club-record signing played the full 90 minutes of the 2-2 Premier League draw against Tottenham on September 1 before heading off on international duty.
In a squad update on the Ivorian Football Federation ahead of the friendly matches against Benin and Tunisia, the governing body said: “Nicolas Pepe, injured with his club, came in to declare it late on Wednesday afternoon.
“As a reinforcement, the coach appealed to Bagayoko Mamadou.”
Pepe is reported to have now returned to Arsenal’s London Colney base, where he will continue to work on his fitness ahead of the Premier League match at Watford on September 15.
The forward, 24, did not get a full pre-season behind him after playing at the Africa Cup of Nations before joining the Gunners in a £72million deal from Lille on August 1.
It has been suggested an agreement had been reached between the Ivorian Football Federation and Arsenal that Pepe would join up with the Elephants squad in Deauville, but was scheduled to resume his fitness work back at the club rather than play in the friendly matches.
Eddie Nketiah has revealed why he ignored Unai Emery’s request for him to stay at Arsenal.
The 20-year-old has joined Leeds on loan until the end of the season.
He said: “The manager wanted me to stay so it’s really confidence-boosting for me that he had me in his plans.
“But I felt like it was a good step form me to come to Leeds.
“I hope it’s a good year that can leave me in good stead going back to Arsenal to fight for a place.”
Arsenal legend Ian Wright, 55, has given Nketiah tips and saw his first goal for Leeds at Elland Road last month.
Nketiah, on loan from the Gunners, said: “He’s been brilliant.
“He’s a bit of a mentor. He messages me, asks me how I am, how I’m finding things up in Leeds.
“He’s given me advice and I always try to learn from him because he’s had a great career. I’m really grateful.
“It’s a dream come true to have one of your heroes speaking to you. He’s such a nice guy and a modest guy for the career he’s had.”