Alan Smith isn’t confident that Nicolas Pepe has much more to offer as the winger continues to struggle at Arsenal.
Pepe signed for the Gunners in the summer of 2019 and his poor performances last season were excused because it was his first campaign in England.
However, the attacker hasn’t done any better this season, and it seems that there is not much more he can truly do.
He had an amazing last season with Lille in the French Ligue 1, and Arsenal signed him with the hopes that he would replicate that form with them.
But he hasn’t taken off yet and Smith says this is his second campaign, he should be doing better because he is now used to some of his surroundings.
Asked if he still expects Pepe to prove his worth to Arsenal, Smith told Stadium Astro: ‘I’m not so sure, he’s in his second season now so it’s not as if he’s still adapting to a new country and league.
‘He’s one of those players who can produce a bit of magic, cut inside and find the top corner. But on other occasions his football intelligence looks short.
‘It’s not as if he had been tearing up trees for a long period in France. You can throw the transfer fee at him but that’s not his fault.
‘The fact remains he’s a big signing and they spent a lot of money on him. If they were to sell him now they would make a huge loss, so that’s another problem.
‘They’ve got rid of the Ozil problem but they are still saddled with the Pepe and Willian problems.’
Pepe’s poor performance in the match against Southampton may see him struggle to get chances in the Arsenal first-team again for the foreseeable future.