ARSENAL will be without Nicolas Pepe against Wolves after his pregnant wife went into labour.
The club announced the news on social media, writing: “Nicolas Pepe misses today’s game due to personal reasons, as his wife has gone into labour.”
Gooners on social media had questioned why the Ivorian star had not been put in the starting XI when it was announced earlier this afternoon.
But congratulations poured in after the news was announced.
It is believed to be the first child of Pepe and his wife, who are both devout Muslims.
Little is known about Pepe’s partner, with the former Lille star keeping a firm lid on his private life and letting his performances on the pitch do the talking.
There are no pictures of Mrs Pepe on his social media pages and he rarely speaks about his life off the pitch in interviews.
Pepe has been revitalised since football returned, scoring twice in four games and putting in some impressive shifts.
Meanwhile, Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has reiterated to the board that he wants funds to improve his squad this summer.
He said: “I know that the situation that we have at the club and the context that we are in, but the club knows my plan
“In January, the situation was that we had to fill some gaps and give some stability to the squad.
“Now is the moment to make another step forward and improve the squad and the players that we have.
He added he will “absolutely” have the final word on signings, saying: “We have a very strong group [working on signings]and the communication is really clear, not only with [head of football]Raul [Sanllehi], [managing director]Vinai [Venkatesham], [contract negotiator]Huss [Fahmy] and [technical director]Edu, but also with the ownership about where we want to go.
“The margin for error is very, very small.
“The gap between the two top teams and the rest is really, really big and everybody is trying to catch up.
“The competition is between six, seven, eight, maybe even nine clubs now to fight for those positions, so we have to be very smart and we have to be very decisive when we make our decisions.”