Alan Smith has blasted Nicolas Pepe for not wanting to succeed at Arsenal bad enough despite being signed for a ridiculous sum.
The Ivorian was signed from Lille in the summer of 2019 for £72 million, and he was expected to replicate the form that he showed in the French side.
This is his second season at the Emirates and he is yet to show the form that saw him score more than 20 goals for Lille in his final Ligue 1 campaign.
He has been criticised for his performances at the club, and Mikel Arteta has even played the underperforming Willian ahead of him.
Smith says that the attacker isn’t showing us how good he can be and his body language isn’t that of someone who wants to succeed at Arsenal as bad as he should.
He also spoke about Willian and said the Brazilian has already shown his class in the Premier League and only needs to get back to form.
The former Gunners striker told the Evening Standard: “We don’t actually know how good Pepe can become.
“Bought for a ridiculous sum (well done, Raul Sanllehi, Arsenal’s former head of football), the winger has yet to prove he can replicate his Lille form in red and white. Going further, you do have to wonder, looking at body language, how badly the lad wants to succeed.
“Willian is different. With an excellent track record at Chelsea, we know he has the ability to influence games.
“Arsenal’s coaching staff, in turn, were expecting him to elevate the side, turn it back into a top-four outfit. So far, it has been the opposite. But that doesn’t mean the Brazilian can’t come again in a side energised by youth and better results.
“That can easily happen. Just as talent can inspire, hard work and enthusiasm often prove infectious. If your team-mate alongside is busting a gut, you tend to follow suit out of support.”