Pundit criticises Arsenal for wasting a huge amount of money on one player

Arsenal broke their transfer record to sign Nicolas Pepe from Lille last summer.

The Gunners wanted a new winger so badly that they also tried to sign the likes of Wilfried Zaha and Ryan Fraser.

However, they eventually settled for Pepe who had a solid season with the French side in the last campaign.

Meanwhile, a youngster was just getting his first taste of football at the Emirates at the end of last season.

Bukayo Saka would become an important player at the Emirates this season. He has just signed a new long-term deal at the club and he is one of the first names on the team sheet nowadays.

Former Spurs manager, Tim Sherwood reckons that looking at the rapid rise of Saka, Arsenal has basically wasted £70 million on Pepe.

After Saka scored a goal against Wolves in Arsenal’s last game, Sherwood said there is not a £70 million difference between them and he insisted that Arsenal should have saved that money and developed the teenager instead.

Sherwood told Premier League Productions as quoted by Sun Sports: “I think he [Saka] realises his talent and he knows he’s confident in his ability. He knows he’s capable of doing moments like that.

“I think he’s got the game-time because of his versatility.

“When he saw Pepe come through the door he must’ve thought, ‘How am I ever going to play?’

“But let me tell you there’s not £70 million’s difference between that kid Saka and Pepe, nowhere near.

“In fact they should’ve saved their money and just developed that young boy.

“They’ve got a manager now who wants to look at their academy, look how many are coming off the bench, Willock, Maitland-Niles, so many of these kids.

“Just like Chelsea have done. The kids are there at all these clubs, just give them the chance to play.”

Tags Bukayo Saka Nicolas Pepe


  1. Please he should hush. Is it his money? Other teams spend outrageously on a player no one says anything rather they will say big teams have to spend big. Arsenal does the same (once in a while)and they complain. We spend little and they say we don’t do business like big clubs..

    Why always Arsenal?

    Pepe is beginning to show why we got him. He is still young and not the finished product yet but I see him doing big things next season

    1. Well said mate ,fans want the best players and they cost money ,to be near the top we need to spend .
      Pepe stats so far this season
      Not to shabby in my book ,he does need to do more tracking back but it his 1st season in a new league and team,I see a proper talent once he gets going .

  2. well, although i agree that there isnt a 70m difference between the 2 players they play on opposite sides of the pitch.
    Lille are known to play hardball over transfer fees and the fact that we could pay the fee over 5 years is probably another reason we went for him over Zaha as palace wanted the 50M in full.
    Pepe hasnt had a great season but it is his 1st in the prem and the league is alot different to the french league.
    Also there has been alot of termoil with us this season, Emery wanted him to play one way, then he got the boot which was imo about 3 months to late, then we get arteta in and his demands for each player is different to that of emery.
    My advice to Tim here is dont worry about our players or team, worry about those spuds instead!

  3. Sherwood ?? Who did he play for ?? Aaaah yes !!!!
    Who did he manage ?? Aaaah yes !!!
    Enough said !!

  4. To be honest apart from that brilliant finish saka was struggling down that right flank,he is not used to it.If MA goes 343 tomorrow i think he will be the LWB and tierney will be one of the 3 CBs.

    Pepe on the other hand is having a good season in my opinion.His stats are better than ronaldos 1st season but as i always say football is not about stats.But looking at the games he played and how he played since MA took over,i am very happy with the improvement.He has great potential and skillset to be a world class winger.

    1. Think Arteta needed to make a quick decision since he was probably going to play Pepe that game, but had a good personal reason to miss the match. His only other option was Reiss Nelson in that game. Safe to say he made the right choice even if Saka did struggle.

  5. If Arsenal didn’t buy Pepe and he went to Napoli, the same person would be singing about Arsenal being a “small club”
    Even if I don’t agree with that particular purchase , I don’t need the Sherwoods of this world to tell me.

  6. He was bought for the future. Always judge young players coming from lesser foreign leagues like Ligue 1 on their 2nd season. Always. We see time and time again with ourselves and other clubs. Takes time to settle. Like what I see with his intrinsic talents if he can work on his weak foot, tactical awareness etc. he’ll be a real force. He’s been involved directly in 11 goals from 18 starts in the prem (8 sub apps too) which is hardly massively terrible. It’s equal with Laca behind Auba and ahead of everyone else in the squad.

  7. Pulisic cost Chelsea the same kind of money and he’s been involved in just 9 goals for Chelsea (3 less starts, 3 less sub apps) but we don’t seem to see any kind of media storm about Chelsea wasting their money (in fact most articles I see say he is finally coming good.)

    1. If you’re watching Chelsea right now he’s carrying the whole team tho. Every Willian goal recently was essentially down to Pulisic.

    The proof that this view is correct is that Saka has successfully forced his way into the team regularly and much enhanced his fast growing reputation. This would have happened quite irrespective of whether or not we signed Pepe. As events have proved. QED!

  9. Sherwood is a clown. But I also do hope Pepe justifies his pricetag. I think Arteta will be able to get more out of him than Emery did. I’ve been pretty harsh on Pepe, and alot of that is down to his pricetag, but I’ve seen him growing slowly and adjusting. there are poor elements he needs to cut out of his game still but hopefully next season he thrives.

  10. RSH, while I understand your reasoning and thoughts, the player didn’t agree his transfer fee and, if we are to judge anybody on that criteria, shouldn’t it be whoever it was that agreed the reported £72,000,000 fee and his reported £125,000 a week salary?

    Like you, I see improvement in his play as consistent and I’m sure Mikel Arteta will bring out the kind of performances that those in charge of transfers etc that made them break our club record.

    As for this failed manager, pundit and ex spud player, I see yet another person with an agenda to discredit everything/anything Arsenal – now it’s time to watch the 4-0 drubbing we gave him at Wembley once again.

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