Nicolas Pepe has failed to live up to his huge transfer fee.
It was always going to happen, patience was going to run out and criticism of Nicolas Pepe would begin. The Ivory Coast international has been an expensive flop so far and both fans and former players are starting to become frustrated with the 24-year-old.
Former Arsenal legend Ian Wright was on the Monday Night Club on the BBC and he had this to say with regards to the former Lille man:
“We definitely need more out of him, I’d like to see him play more and getting the creative players ramming the ball down his throat to get him taking on players. In Arsenal’s current state in respect of money we cannot afford to pay that kind of money for somebody and three managers now are not really sold.
“That can’t happen, we’re not in that luxurious position. Whatever happens we’ve got to get a tune out of Pepe and quick. Three managers have benched him. I’m not seeing enough movement from him, not seeing enough hunger from him to want to make something happen and he needs to start doing that because questions are starting to be asked.”
It really is hard to disagree with Wrighty there, in fact, I agree with every single word he has said.
Some will argue that the huge fee is not his fault but that fee reflects his talent and I doubt anyone can say that he has performed to anywhere near his best.
It could be confidence, it could be adapting to the English game, I really do not know but what I do know is that he has to start showing more than what he has done so already or the club may have to cut their losses. No club can carry a player worth so much money and get almost nothing in return.
All Arsenal fans had huge hopes when he was signed and he has been a huge letdown and while the excuses worked in the early days, especially the comparison with the time it took the likes of Thierry Henry to settle down and adapt but those excuses no longer wash now.
The time for excuses has passed, we know what he is capable of and he now has to deliver.
So, no, in my personal opinion it is not too early to call Pepe out, it is actually the perfect time.