Jeremie Aliadiere has slammed Arsenal star Nicolas Pepe, claiming that despite his talent he is doing the easy things wrong.
The club record £72 Million signing of last summer has come under criticism for much of the campaign, although his performances have begun to improve under new manager Mikel Arteta.
Former Gunner Aliadiere has added to the list of players to attack Pepe, although he is more frustrated by the player’s decision making, claiming he is doing the easy things wrong for such a talent.
Jeremie said: “I saw what he did with Lille last season and he is an amazing player. So, I’m not denying his talent.
“What I’m seeing, though, is the most expensive player in Arsenal’s history and even if you don’t want to think about the money, the fact is that money is, unfortunately, a big thing in football.
“And when you spend that much money on a player, you expect more goals and you expect more assists. If you look at his stats, I would say he has had an alright season.
“Now, obviously it is not easy, as I know having been there, but the thing that has disappointed me a tiny bit is his decision-making during games.
“For a player who cost £72m, it’s the simple parts of the game that sometimes I see him lacking. And that’s what I pick on a bit.
“Yes, he goes on a good dribble and goes through two or three players – that’s amazing. But when you have Aubameyang on your left and all you have to do is pass the ball in the right spot, and instead cut it back at the wrong time, that bothers me. And I’ve seen that quite a lot from him this season.
“Maybe with confidence, with more games, that will improve. But it’s that sort of thing – when he switches off and seems to lack concentration – that gets to me.
“That is something you can’t really have with top, top players who come for that sort of money. The easy stuff has got to be done properly.”
Pepe has certainly improved in recent months, but he still has some way to go to pay off the investment placed in him last summer.
There is usually certain allowances given to players who have only recently arrived in the Premier League, but when you arrive for a club record fee there is added expectation on you, and he has so far failed to meet that level.
Has Pepe shown enough to warrant his first-team role this season? Is the jury still out on whether he will prove to be a good signing?