New Arsenal signing Nicolas Pepe was a notable absentee from the Gunners traveling party to Barcelona for the friendly game with the Spanish La Liga champions.

Arsenal and Barcelona meet for the annual Joan Hamper trophy later on Sunday and Pepe won’t be involved in the game.

The Senegalese international star was not part of the 21-man Arsenal squad named by Gunners boss Unai Emery for the Barcelona game.

The Barcelona clash is the last friendly game for Arsenal this summer before the start of the new Premier League season.

Arsenal start their Premier League campaign with an away clash at Newcastle United next week Sunday.

Nicolas Pepe became the most expensive player in the history of Arsenal last week after the Gunners completed a deal reported to be around €80m (£72m) for him.

His transfer from French club Lille became a club-record as it surpassed the £56m paid for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang last year.

Aubameyang signed for the Gunners from German Bundesliga giants Borussia Dortmund during the 2018 winter transfer window.

Apart from Nicolas Pepe who’s working his way to fitness after his participation with Ivory Coast at the just concluded African Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament in Egypt, Gunners striker Alexandre Lacazette will also miss the Barcelona game because of an ankle injury.


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