The January transfer window was a major disappointment for Arsenal fans around the globe, but Nicolas Pepe’s form at the AFCON could well give us a timely boost. Guest post by Sarah Rohan.
A mass flow of outgoings happened at the Emirates this transfer window, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang even getting a late late deal to Barcelona but we failed to add to the playing squad before the deadline.
No new signings came in, excluding the two MLS stars who will join next season. Matt Turner and Austin Trusty. Yeah Trusty the process! Maybe Arteta wanted him in because it matches his favourite moto?!
What do we do now then? Our squad is now down to the bare minimum. As the window’s deadline drew closer it was becoming glaringly obvious that it was going to be baron for us. It seemed like it was all about the money money money for the owners and the board.
So we now have seventeen games left and are currently lying in sixth. Out of all the cups and no European football to contend with. Only leaving us with the battle for the European places. Obviously we would all want to see us battling for fourth place, but a realist will see this is a mighty task now, so top six it is then? Much more realistic for our current situation in my opinion.
So what needs to happen now? For one, we better hope there are no injuries throughout the rest of the season otherwise we are kaput! That’s putting it politely!
Well we have one player who may need to step up, a very expensive forgotten man at that, who we actually didn’t loan out or sell. Nicolas Pepe! Did anyone watched AFCON? From his four games he scored two, assisted one and got MOTM twice. I think if they went further in the competition he could’ve got player of the tournament, and let’s not forget how hard goals have been to come by in the climate also.
He’s actually a very skilled player, very quick footed and can create goal scoring chances. I feel sorry that he hasn’t been given enough chances this term. Possibly misunderstood? I thought he was a miserable player with an attitude when he played for us. After seeing him playing at AFCON, I’ve realised that’s just how he he appears, and will not take it personally for our club.
Surely it’s worth a risk to give him regular starts? We know Saka plays in his position and the chances of Saka being dropped is slim to none. So why bench a 72 million player the rest of the season when we could chance him in another position? Or do we now rely on Nketiah? Who really I only see as a back up for someone else. I know who I would trust more to get us goals. Now I know it’s not likely that he’d get played In the striker role but he has done in the past when Bielsa had him at Lille and he performed well there.
Last season Nicolas played 47 games for us, subbed on for 17 of them and still scored 16 and assisted five, and that’s as a winger! It’s just really annoying when a player like him shows promise but gets benched or subbed. Has his time in north London really made his ability disappear? How is he meant to keep up with playing well when he doesn’t know if he’s dropped or playing and to keep his momentum going?
There’s much much worse players out there in our league playing week-in week-out. Just give the poor bloke games and let him prove himself. Surely now is the right time for it?
After what feels like forever, I’ll be glad to see my team playing again against a tough Wolves team on the 10th! Let’s hope our squad is in top form after their Dubai training camp.