Arsenal flop Nicolas Pepe dubbed 'roommate from hell' with two stars demanding move

Wilfried Zaha bunked with Nicolas Pepe on international duty (Image: DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP via Getty Images)

Former Arsenal player Nicolas Pepe was known as ‘the roommate from hell’ after his team-mate Wilfried Zaha lifted the lid on his unbearable snoring. The two bunked together while representing Ivory Coast internationally, but Zaha had to request a room change due to Pepe’s disruptive sleep noises, with the ex-Crystal Palace striker comparing it to that of a motorbike.

Zaha then moved in with Salomon Kalou and found out the former Chelsea star was also well aware of Pepe’s notorious snoring habit. “Oh, my days. Nicolas Pepe. I asked to leave the room,” Zaha, 31, confessed on the On The Judy Podcast back in 2021.

“I went and asked to leave the room because he sounded like a motorbike. It was mad, it was crazy. I was like, ‘No’.”

“These are the first times as well when I went [with Ivory Coast]. They let me move and share rooms with Salomon Kalou. And he was like ‘Bro, I know. I moved myself.'”

Pepe, 29, signed for Arsenal from Lille for £72million in 2019 but struggled to justify his hefty price tag.

During the 2021/22 season, he found himself being pushed to the peripheries of the squad after falling out of favour with manager Mikel Arteta, and subsequently joined Nice on loan the following summer.

Nicolas Pepe (R) and Wilfried Zaha are international team-mates (Image: Getty)

He departed Arsenal on a free transfer in 2023, having scored 27 goals in 112 appearances, and signed for Turkish side Trabzonspor. Last season, he netted six goals in 23 games across all competitions.

Pepe was born and raised in France to Ivorian parents and made his debut for the Ivory Coast at the age of 21 in 2016. He has since earned 45 caps and netted 10 goals for his country.

On the other hand, Zaha opted to play for the Ivory Coast in 2017 after England repeatedly overlooked him. The ex-Manchester United ace, who like Pepe is currently playing in Turkey with Galatasaray, was born in Abidjan, the capital of Ivory Coast, but relocated to England when he was four.

He represented England at youth level during his teenage years and made two non-competitive appearances for the senior team between 2012 and 2013.

However, after being ignored for three years, he decided to change his allegiance. Since then, he has played 33 matches for the Ivory Coast, scoring five goals.

Zaha and Pepe could have been not only international teammates but also clubmates. Arsenal, long-time admirers of the Crystal Palace academy graduate, made several attempts to sign him, but were deterred by the Eagles’ asking price.