Nicolas Pepe has been given a shockingly low rating of 3.5 out of a possible 10 for his performance against Koln on Thursday, whilst on loan with Ligue 1 side Nice from Arsenal this term.
The Gunners opted to allow the Ivory Coast international to leave on a season-long move after falling down the pecking order at the Emirates, with all of Emile Smith Rowe, Gabriel Martinelli and Bukayo Saka emerging ahead of him in the race for playing time.
Having returned to France, where he shined so brightly for Lille previously, he has begun to show his true colours once again, scoring five and assisting one in his 16 outings so far this term, but last night he came in for some harsh criticism by the French publication Maxifoot, who described his performance in the 2-2 draw as a 3.5 out of 10, with the following transcript: “In better shape in recent games, the winger on loan from Arsenal did not continue his momentum. He has done some great things like the little bridge over Hübers. But he was rarely dangerous and was very discreet in the second period.”
We have seen on one-too-many occasions that Pepe can blow extremely hot and cold, and this is where he became unstuck in north London. I think a small part of us wants him to come back next season and be the player we expected him to be on his arrival, but that hope is dwindling rapidly. The next best solution is that he impresses a potential suitor enough to take the plunge and pay a decent amount for his signature come the end of the season, so that we can finally draw a line under the saga. Next we will need to find a new player to be our club record signing, as that label certainly doesn’t deserve to be on Nico unfortunately.
Do any of you Gunners still believe Pepe could play for us ever again?
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