Mikel Arteta opens up on Arsenal star that provides “creativity and flair”

Mikel Arteta has hailed an improving Nicolas Pepe after the Ivorian scored Arsenal’s first goal against Sheffield United.

Pepe joined the Gunners from Lille for a club-record fee last summer. He had been the second top scorer in the French top flight and he was expected to set the Premier League on fire when he moved to England.

However, he struggled at the start of the season and came under heavy criticism for some of his performances for the Gunners.

When Arteta became the club’s manager, his man-management skill became a useful tool in transforming the individual performances of the players at the Emirates, and Pepe is one player that has benefited.

The Ivorian now looks to be improving in every other game, and Arteta has praised the winger.

He claimed that the Ivorian seems to have clicked, and he is now more aware of what is expected of him as a member of the Arsenal team.

“I’m very excited about what he can bring [in the future] and what he’s bringing to the team this season,” said Arteta via Arsenal.com.

“I think he’s made a click and I think he realises what he needs to do for the team when we don’t have the ball.
 
“I’m so pleased today, you’ve seen his defensive actions were incredible with what he’s doing, and then with the ball he gives us that creativity and flair that we need and big teams need. He’s always unpredictable with what can happen when he’s got the ball at his feet, so I think he’s [heading] in the right direction.

“I really liked him from the past. I didn’t know him personally, but I think he is a player with incredible potential, but he needs to be decisive in every game and he needs to take care of moments in the game when he disconnects himself a little bit. He cannot do that, and I will be very persistent with him to try to change that because at his best, he can make the difference for the team.”

Tags mikel arteta Nicolas Pepe

10 Comments

  1. Sean M says:

    A few times in that game, I remember thinking not only is he always back there defending with Ainsley but he’s actually harrying opponents rather than just being a body between the ball and goal. So great to see.

    If he can just train that right foot of his, he’ll be a huge asset.

    1. Skills1000 says:

      Pepe has all it takes to be successful. We need to add more quality to the squad as well. We have to be realistic. You cannot win trophies without top quality players.

      Thomas Partey and Nabil FeKir signings are a must. These two are needed.

      Fekir Is what we need as far as creativity is concerned. This guy went to Betis for less than 20m pounds. 30m pounds should get him from betis.

      He is a complete midfielder. very skillful.

      We should be ambitious as a club and sign the right players to take us forward. We have been struggling with our creativity.
      Why have 4 strikers without creativity in midfield? Sell one or both of Aubameyang or Lacazette and fund the moves for Partey, Fekir, Lewis Dunk.

      We should offer Guendouzi and cash to athetico Madrid in exchange for Partey.

      We can do better than a 9th Place position.
      Nothing will change next season without investing. And the fans will turn on Arteta next season if no improvement.

      1. ACE says:

        Couldn’t agree with you more Skills. It seems
        like a broken record reality but I honestly
        believe Arsenal are a few TC players away from
        seriously challenging for the top 4 next
        season. I understand the financial implications
        of Covid 19, but that shouldn’t prevent Raul
        and co from attempting to streamline the
        roster with creative swap or loan deals for
        players that quite frankly should be moved on.
        Personally I feel AFC should put out
        serious feelers for the likes of Miki, Ozil,
        Socrates, El Neny, Laca, Torreria, and
        Bellerin. I think most Arsenal fans would be
        more than pleased if the following scenarios
        came to fruition.

        If AC Milan is still interested in Torreria, ask for
        Frankie Kessie in return.

        Send Laca or Guendouzi to AM for Partey

        Use the possible sales of Bellerin, Miki,
        Socrates and El Neny to finance the addition
        of Fekir or Aouar from Lyon.

        I would be tremendously excited with this
        starting 11 next year.

        Auba
        Saka…Fekir(Aouar)…Pepe
        Kessie…Partey
        Tierney…Mari…Saliba..AMN
        Leno

        subs…Eddie..Martinelli…Mustafi..Luiz..Soares
        Nelson..Willock…Martinez…Kola..Chambers..
        ESR..

        send Holding and Mavro back out on loan.

  2. Shakir says:

    You heard it from the boss so i think some of the gooners who are questioning his potential and calling him a flop will stop now.

    I think he has around 16 goals and assists combined for arsenal this season.Not bad for a player new to the league and who has played under 3 managers and a team who are struggling,also a club which has some stupid fans(not all) who never understood football going after him everytime apart from ozil.

    1. Dan kit says:

      Your right Shakir .
      8 goals
      8 assists
      Not to shabby for a flop …

  3. Sean says:

    Pepe will be Artetas main attacking outlet on the wings, now he has grasped the defending side of what is expected the man is going to flourish under Mikel. We may not win titles but we have a star in our ranks and the money spent (5years, 1 payment a year) in Pepe isnt as bad as people make it out to be. Shrewed deal imo.

    Someone above mentioned 16 goals/assist in his 1st season coming from League1 under 3 different managers in probably the worst Arsenal team in my time anyway and does this. Signs of good things to come from him.

    Hopefully see more of Martinelli soon as I believe hes a star in the making. Was thinking the same for Matteo but he seems to have his problems but hopefully that can be trained out of him, still only 20years old and is a baller no doubt.

    1. Skills1000 says:

      Guendouzi is not good enough. He is Overrated. He does not have the pace required for a DM. He does not score goals. Fabregas at that age was a beast. We should sell him asap

      1. Jabawoki says:

        Cesc had Veira, Gilberto, Petit, Bergkamp to watch and learn from as well as Wenger. Different era, if Guendouzi was brought up around them, he would be fantastic as a DM for us.

        He’s 19yrs old in a crap team that don’t offer protection or time to nurture or mold. give him another year under a consistent coach and we will see a change.

        1. Skills1000 says:

          I agree with you. But at this stage, we cant continue to develop players with potentials. we need guys who would get in the team straight and deliver. im sure you know that Partey is a better player than Guendouzi.
          I watched his game against Liverpool. The champions league return leg at anfield. He is what we need. You cannot win things with Guendouzi anchoring the midfield. Partey is very tall, strong, good passer of the ball. With Partey, we can play more creative midfielders in the team.

          Sell Guendouzi now and get money for the right players that would improve the squad

          Bellerin Dunk Saliba Thierney

          Partey Saka Xhaka

          Pepe Martinelli Fekir

          We should sell Guendouzi and get the cash to fund players we actually need to close the gap to Liverpool and Man City.
          It will be difficult to compete next season if we dont buy the right players.

      2. jon fox says:

        I agree ,he is now, I think 21 and at that age IF you are going to be atop class player you are already showing it regularly. Guendouzi has shown merely and only at times, a certain moderate amount of talent but with the angst in his personality that he brings he is nowhere near worth keeping, IMO. FOR ME HE IS A VALUABLE ASSET BUT TO BE USED IN THE MARKET FOR SWAP OR PLAYER DEAL OR CASH. Not worth keeping, for sure!

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