Kenya star defends Nicolas Pepe from those writing off his first season

Kenya star, Ronald Okoth, claims that Nicolas Pepe’s first season at the Emirates cannot be considered a failure just yet.

Pepe joined the Gunners from Lille last summer in a club-record deal. His first season hasn’t been as positive as fans thought it would be when he joined.

He had been Lille’s top scorer in the French Ligue 1, with over 20 goals scored in all competitions for them.

Arsenal hoped that he would become the goal-scoring winger that they haven’t had in a long time.

He has shown his brilliance in glimpses so far, but he was expected to have done more for the fee that was paid to land him.

Many fans and even some pundits have claimed that he hasn’t justified the hefty price tag that the Gunners signed him for, Okoth, however, doesn’t think he is a waste of money when judged by his first season at the moment.

“I think he has not been a flop because he was still fighting to adapt and again I also think he has not played that bad,” Okoth told Goal.

“The moments he has been playing his work on the pitch has been seen, to me, those were some good performances.

“You know when the whole team is having a bad day, there will be no player who can be regarded as outstanding. It is more of a collective effort and that is why he might have been seen as a flop, which is not the case to me.

“The expectations that the club had on him as well as the fans especially after arriving with so much invested in him money-wise, might have drastically affected him.

“He has not lived up to those expectations, yes, but hopefully in the next season he might rightfully prove his worth.”

Tags Nicolas Pepe


  1. I don’t consider his first season a failure although I do think he is overpriced, but 8 goals and 9 assists this season wasn’t too shabby.

  2. His first season is simply average and not a failure for me. Just a pass mark…

    Next season is another season for him to improve and do a whole lot better… i think he will be judged squarely next season. Some players hit the ground running after their first season in a new league….

    I want him to do better next season. Saw a lot of flashes of him in his time at Lille. He was gunsblazing and without holding back. At times i feel something is holding him back. Anyway its left for him to improve and do great things next season. When we played Liverpool at Anfield in the just concluded season, he started pretty well. He could have scored two goals. His foot work against Van D and i think Robertson was really impressive…

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