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Pepe out, Bagayoko in; Ivory Coast team updates

Injury forces Pepe out of Ivory Coast duty
The 24-year-old Ivorian has returned to Arsenal to continue training with Unai Emery’s team for their upcoming matches.

Arsenal forward Nicolas Pepe has been withdrawn from Ivory Coast national team squad for their upcoming games against Benin and Tunisia due to injury.

After the Gunners’ 2-2 draw against Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday, Pepe travelled to France to join the rest of his international teammates in Deauville.

Upon his arrival at the team’s base, the 24-year-old reported an injury to the officials and he has been released to return to London Colney.

The Ivory Coast FA disclosed that KV Mechelen defender Mamadou Bagayoko has been called up to replace the attacker in the team.

The Ivorian FA wrote, “Nicolas Pepe, injured in his club, came to report his injury on Wednesday late afternoon. As reinforcement, the coach has invited Bagayoko Mamadou,”

Crystal Palace attacker Wilfried Zaha and Basel midfielder Serey Die have also been left out of the squad for various reasons.

The Elephants are to take on Benin on Friday in Caen before playing against Tunisia on Tuesday.

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