Former Gunner issues Nicolas Pepe warning after Willian signing

Alan Smith has warned Nicolas Pepe that he will have to shape up or he will get shipped out of Arsenal eventually after the Gunners landed Willian.

Pepe joined Arsenal for a record fee last summer and he was expected to become a club star after he impressed in France for Lille.

However, the Ivorian has since struggled to make an impression in his first campaign at the Emirates.

He remains an important part of the setup at Arsenal and just like most of his teammates, he began to do better under Mikel Arteta before the season ended.

The Gunners have now signed Willian in a move that might threaten Pepe’s role in the team and he has been warned that he will need to do better if he wants to remain in the team.

Smith admits that it is now time for the Gunners to make some progress in their rebuilding efforts and claimed that he was surprised at the club signing Willian initially.

Smith told Sky Sports: ‘It is time to move the project forward by adding quality in certain positions, which is not easy at all when money is tight. 

‘Willian’s free transfer from Chelsea looks like the first step, which surprised me at first given the Brazilian’s age.

‘Just turned 32 with lots of miles on the clock, Stamford Bridge has surely seen his best days. 

‘So was this just a convenient move because he has the right agent? Something foisted upon Arteta by Raul Sanllehi, the head of football? 

‘Or does Arteta see something in Willian that can improve the team straight away? 

‘One thing is for sure, as a right-sided attacker, his arrival asks immediate questions of Nicolas Pepe, signed at exorbitant cost this time last year.

‘The Ivory Coast winger has blown hot and cold so far, which is not a great quality in Arteta’s book. 

‘Undoubtedly talented, Pepe has got to kick on if he’s going to survive because, in the short term at least, Willian can provide great know-how and quality on that right side.’

Tags Nicolas Pepe Willian


  1. OT. With almost hourly articles on here, most of them not concerning any actual news, it is surely an omission that whenREAL NEWS does happen as was announced at lunchtime today that RAUL HAS LEFT ARSENAL, not a peepof an article appears on this site several hours after the REAL NEWS broke.
    Very revealing about how JA’s priorities lay, I’d say!

    1. Agree. Admin, we are having a Sanllehi discussion across two articles that have nothing to do with Sanllehi right now, when this is clearly the breaking news of the day and should be given the attention. Is there a reason we are getting other articles instead??

    2. Here here, I’ve been waiting since lunchtime for the Raul article yet none as yet, also STOP saying Willian will be 35 when his contract ends he will NOT, he will be 34 end of lol, it’s poor journalistic knowledge & I feel a deliberate attempt to wind fans up

  2. I was thinking that myself Jon, but perhaps more research is being done by JA to enlighten us as to exactly why Raul has been shown the door?

    1. Raul embezzled £10M from the deal, hence the internal investigation, he paid off a or some intermediaries as well as taking a chunk for himself, just rumours so far but a few fans have been talking about it over on Arseblog

    2. Thats being too kind to them Grandad. LACKOF KNOWLEDGE OF FACTS HAS NEVER STOPPED THEM BEFORE NOW!

  3. Agree about the lack of article about Raul, an extremely significant occurrence and “it’s all gone quiet over there”
    Regarding Willian, he won’t have any effect on Pepé as he will be playing in the number 10 position in my opinion rather than right wing.

  4. Jon,Declan…are expressing what a lot of us have been thinking all day,as the lack of comments shows,there is only one subject that interests us and it is Raul, sorry!like many of us I have had to go on others sites to read about it .

  5. Are you actually taking note of all these comments Admins? Not a peep from either of you! FANS CRAVE NEWS SO WHEN ACTUAL NEWS does finally happen we rightly expect a comment at least from JA? Odd behaviour I’D SAY!

  6. In light of what has happened today, I hope that Pepe is not too affected by the revelations. To know that you were completely overvalued must be at the very least disheartening.

    He has received stick from time to time, especially when his transfer fee is mentioned as a comparison to his effectiveness. He might have had more leeway if his true value was known

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