By Noel Whelan

13th Dec, 2021 | 6:40pm

Pundit excited as Arsenal line up Pepe upgrade after agent reveal

Noel Whelan has insisted Anthony Martial would be the perfect upgrade on Arsenal flop Nicolas Pepe.

The former Leeds striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, claimed the 26-year-old Man United ace is “not even into the best footballing years of his career”.

According to the Mirror (11 December), Arsenal, Barcelona, Newcastle, and Paris Saint-Germain have emerged as the front-runners for Martial’s signature in January.

As per the report, the France international’s agent, Philippe Lamboley insisted his client “just needs to play”.

The former Monaco striker has played just 359 minutes of football so far this season.

Whelan insisted a potential move for Martial would “excite” Arsenal fans.

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“He’s 26 years old – that’s not even into the best footballing years of his career,” he told Football Insider‘s Ewan Kingsbury.

“We know he’s got the talent. Look at his stats for Man United, they’re not bad considering he’s hardly played.

“He can play anywhere across that front three. If you think about what Martial could offer Arsenal, compared to what Pepe is currently offering – I know which player I’d be taking.

“Arteta is looking to freshen things up. Martial can slot straight in and replace Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette – I think the Arsenal fans would be excited by that signing.”

Lacazette is widely expected to leave Arsenal with his contract expiring at the end of this season.

Aubameyang was omitted from Mikel Arteta’s squad recently due to disciplinary reasons.

In other news, an Arsenal rising star ‘has to leave’ after what Per Mertesacker has said publicly.