Us poor Arsenal fans have been frustrated for the last six months while Unai Emery has kept our 72 million pound signing Nicholas Pepe on the bench, and he was never given a run in the side to get him up to speed.
Now though, Mikel Arteta has unleashed him and the France-born striker now looks every inch like the real deal after just a few games with Arteta.
One person who is not surprised, and who will be hoping that Pepe doesn’t play on Monday night, is the Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa. The Argentine was a big influence on Pepe’s life when he plucked him from lowly Angers and recruited him for Lille at a cost of just €10 million. This was Bielsa’s assessment of Pepe ahead of the Leeds manager bringing his team to the Emirates on Monday: “Pepe is a great player with big resources and is a goalscorer,’ he said.
‘And he’s a player who is able to unbalance a match. Obvious skills, then you have all of these skills in one player, the value is £72m. It’s just a matter of time and after show those skills.
‘He has showed them clearly and after the price has linked what he has shown on the pitch.
‘One thing is to have the skills, another is to have the skills and show it on the pitch.
‘He does both. He has clearly shown his skills and is at club he deserves to be.’
So was Arteta just lucky that Pepe got into the right frame of mind at the same time as Arteta arrived, or was his previous bad form down to the tactics and instructions from Unai Emery?
I guess we’ll never know for sure, but you can bet that Arteta is very happy about it!