Kevin Campbell has claimed that the turning point came for Arsenal’s Nicolas Pepe when he finally came round the idea of putting in the extra work.
The Ivory Coast international arrived at the Emirates for a club record fee in the summer of 2019, but had a rocky start to life in the Premier League.
By December, Mikel Arteta had come in to replace Unai Emery as head coach, and the winger’s form did improve before the end of the campaign.
Once the new season began however, he had fallen out of favour with the manager, and Willian and Bukayo Saka had convinced the manager that they should play ahead of him.
Pepe found the majority of his league minutes when coming off the bench, while he continued to impress in the Europa League, but outside of that competition his form was underwhelming.
In the final matches of the season however, Pepe had earned his place back in the team, and ended in a flourish with five goals from his last four outings.
Kevin Campbell now insists that his form was no fluke, and it came after the player decided to take his own fate into his own hands by putting in the extra work on the training field.
“Until he got it in his head that I am going to do the extra on the training pitch. Once he got that in his head, everything started to change, and things started to click for him,” Campbell told the Highbury Squad.
“He started to score more goals and look more dangerous. He could be that guy in the Europa [League], but he wasn’t that guy in the Premier League.
“Then all of a sudden, he puts extra work in, he gets luckier, starts getting smarter, he starts understanding the game a lot better and now when you look at it, we didn’t want the season to finish.”
Pepe has definitely earned his place in the team, and the hard work he’s put in can only give you a good feeling about what more is to come with teh right attitude, and should be an inspiration for everyone.