Has Arteta finally given up on Nicholas Pepe?

All the eyes are now back on Nicolas Pepe. The Ivorian, who is Arsenal’s biggest ever signing, was absent for the team’s most important match so far this season against Benfica.

Mikel Arteta again went with one of the alternatives (Willian) to revive life in Arsenal’s attacking output. Willian came up with an assist, so it saved the Brazilian from the trolls and Willian was yet again impressive again aty Leicester.

But as a result of Willian’s inclusion, Pepe’s absence did not go unnoticed. Out of the 25 matches Arsenal have played this season in the Premier League, the former Lille man has started in just nine of them.

For a player who is a winger, and whose whole game is based on bamboozling opponents on the wing, he has instead bamboozled Arsenal fans with his performances. It was the same old drill as last season until the start of a new year.

Trying to cut inside without any success. It was not until Arteta changed his position from right-wing to the unprecedented left-wing in the new year that he showed signs of a renaissance.

But that spark vanished against Aston Villa like a light snow that is exposed to strong sunlight.

The repercussions were a bit harsh. He was benched for the next game against Leeds, played 13 minutes in the first leg, and missed the whole second leg against Benfica in Europa League.

The Arsenal boss did not regret his decision of not bringing on Pepe, as the Gunners claimed an emphatic 3-2 comeback win against the Portuguese side.

Pepe has indeed been far too inconsistent since moving to England for £72 million

Despite playing 73 minutes against league leaders Man City in between, that was more of a case of resting Emile Smith Rowe rather than getting a chance on merit, and yet again he was given a chance due to the need to rest Arteta’s perferred line-up.

Arsenal legend Robert Pires, who was part of the Invincible team of 2004, looks to have settled on a conclusion.

The Frenchman told the Sun last month: “His game doesn’t suit the intensity and demands of the Premier League.

“Pepe wasn’t used to it and it has been complicated for him to change his mentality.

“To adapt to a new way of training and to settle in a tough league. I think he is simply not cut out for English football.”

What do you think? Does it look like Arteta has finally given up on Pepe, despite his better performance today?

Yash Bisht

READ MORE:  William Saliba makes a shocking error while on loan.

Tags Arteta Pepe Pires


  1. The article is a bit off, particularly following one of Pepe’s best performance to date. Pepe also scored so we all look forward for him in the next match.

    1. This is just another article that attracts user engagement. It wasn’t written for no other purpose, which I find to be pretty sad.

    2. Hey there! The article was to be released before the Leicester game. I desperately want Pepe to succeed at the Emirates. But just think that he is not cut out for the PremierLeague. Too inconsistent.

  2. Pepe, given the opportunity by Mikel Arteta, gave Thomas nightmares against Leicester City. He earned free kicks in dangerous areas, one leading to a set piece goal and scored a goal himself.
    No good manager gives up on a player, but utilizes his squad as best he can, given form and injuries. Would Pepe have played against such strong opposition, if Arteta had given up on him? Arteta selected him and he didn’t let the Manager down.

  3. the reality is Pepe is an inconsistent player and any game could start another bad run of form. You don’t want a player like that as a mainstay in the XI. Arteta should use him sometimes and sometimes not. We’re never going to get the 72mill player we all want and have to deal with Pepe being inconsistent, which means patches of games we question his quality, and games where we remember he can do brilliant things. Unfortunately, the games he does brilliant in are rare.

    1. RSH, I disagree with your assessment of Pepe. Arsenal (Sanheili) overpaid for Pepe, which is not his fault. Too many times Pepe, similarly to Lacazette, has been dropped when in form. This doesn’t help any player’s consistency. In addition, he does not play well in combination with Hector Bellerin at RB. Bellerin does not defend as well as Cedric Soares, doesn’t make the number of overlapping runs and cuts in, taking Pepe’s space in the final third.
      Should Arteta give Pepe an extended run on the right in combination with Soares, you will see him reach his potential.

      1. i think its harsh to lay so much blame on bellerin. we’ve seen pepe play for us long enough to gauge his quality. He’s inconsistent. And the reason he doesnt get good runs of playing time is that exact reason. and no, his price tag is not his fault, but that is always what he will be compared with.

  4. Strange. Especially after today’s performance. I feel today pepe was the best player kn the pitch. Yes wilkian got 2 assists but pepe finished on of them and also won the foundation to allow the set piece. Pepe also won several other set prices and the penalty as well as forcing a sub at LB as he was simply too good.

    I think arsenal bar saka and ESR hVe been average so it only makes sense pepe is too. What is not acceptable willians performances. I’m sorry ue has only had 2.5 good performances his very 1st one against Fulham and today’s game against Leicester. He also got a assist against benfica which is where the 0.5 comes in

    Leave pepe let him carry on and build he is our 3rd top scorers

  5. Cedric’s effective linking up with Pepe is another evidence which proves that playing Cedric over Bumllerin in every game is imperative. Said it many times, Cedric is a much better RB.
    It’s simply obvious and hope Arteta realise it.

    1. 👍 Pepe performs better with Cedric Soares at RB, because Soares provides overlapping runs and doesn’t cut inside taking Pepe’s space, as Bellerin tends to do. Also Soares is a better defender at RB.

    2. Cedric is more solid than Bellerin but so is water! Right now Cedric is clearly the best RB at our club but for my money he is only adequate at best and not a player to be used in a title challenging side, which, assumedly, we hope to become in the next season or two.
      Put simply, an owner who cared would ensure we could buy better. BUT……!

      1. jon, Arsenal have bought badly with the money they have been given. More money isn’t the solution. What is required is vastly improved player and financial management at Board and senior executive level. A responsible committed owner would ensure these were in place to protect his interests.

  6. ok , i am prepared for the backlash with the following unprecedented sentence.
    Luiz, Pepe and Willian were all excellent today.
    There, i said it !

  7. Strange article since Pepe has had a good run of form. He may never be the player we hoped he could become, but during the moment he’s starting to show his quality and continues to improve; I’d say at best this article is lacking in depth.

  8. yes that is why Bell will leave for 35 million and Cedric will be released at end of 2022 after we pay off his contract…. but really solid point.

    1. It was made after the game hence comments about Willian’s performance in the game. The strange thing was the fact that he totally failed to mention Pepe’s contributions .writer made it sound like he wasn’t even in the bench for the game yet he was the best player on the pitch if you ask me.

      1. I think the second paragraph in the article is about Willian’s involvement in the Benfica game, because the author said Willian just came up with one assist. If he paid attention to the Leicester game, he should’ve known that Willian produced two assists

  9. Pepe, Xhaka, and Willian should be sold whilst Arsenal can scoop something from their sale. They are the most inconsistent players in Arsenal

  10. Against Leicester, Pepe scored, got fouled for first goal and his shot gave us the penalty. He was also fouled for the first, overturned penalty.

    So he had a brilliant game. And if we go back, past Man City and both Benfica games which for PEpe got dropped, Pepe was pretty good in those games he started..

  11. What a very strange article and especially the headline to post after Pepé had a very good game!

  12. Strange article, was it written before the Leicester game because after reading it you would have concluded that Arteta hadn’t picked Pepe to play against Leicester.

  13. An odd article that was put forward at the mostunfortunate time for the writer to try making his point. Pepe has been inconsistent; we can all see that but he has skill.

    But does he have the mental toughness for our Prem? From his point of view, you can only argue, at most, that the jury is still out. SOME would argue he has already been found guilty of lack of toughness and grit.

    After more than a season and a half, I am leaning very close to finding him guilty as charged, though I will wait til seasons end before giving my final verdict.


  14. Very strange article indeed, ballerin hasn’t been in the best form (maybe because he just came from a serious injury took Ramsey some seasons to find form as well ) . But pepe has performed well when playing with Cedric evident in the Europa group stages and recent games but I have noticed arteta like Guadiola( gundo) can improve individual players alot of our players are getting stronger under arteta and those traits we saw in greats such as sir Alex and Wenger so I do believe pepe is only going to get stronger

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