Pundit reckons Pepe has the potential to be great after Villa match

Nicolas Pepe put in another poor display as Arsenal lost 1-0 to Aston Villa.

The Ivorian had been one of the better players in the Gunners team when they lost 2-1 to Wolves in their previous match.

He is beginning to show why the Gunners broke their transfer record to sign him, and although he should have done better in the Villa loss, Mirror Football’s Sam Meade says there is a top player in the Ivorian when he plays.

He admitted that Pepe has hardly justified the £72m fee that Arsenal paid to sign him, but from his performances, one can tell that there is more to what he currently delivers.

He praised the former Lille man for always getting into dangerous positions and says he has good feet, but more often than not, lets himself down. 

An example is one big chance he created and missed in the Villa loss.

Meade writes: “You’d be hard pushed to find anyone who thinks Nicolas Pepe has justified a club record £72m fee.
“Yet you get the sense that there is a player within the Ivorian waiting to be unlocked.

“He received the praise of his manager in midweek but again at Villa Park Pepe failed to provide the spark his side so desperately needed.

“Frustratingly though the winger gets into some excellent positions, is direct when he has the ball and possesses excellent feet.

“You’d think those aspects together would result in a clinical, dangerous player.

“He manufactured an excellent second-half chance for himself but failed to hit the target, although you feel as if a player full of confidence would’ve slotted it away.

“Arsenal seem to be waiting for the former Lille man to click into gear – more than 18 months after he joined.”

Tags Nicolas Pepe


  1. He’s alright from the neck down! He doesn’t seem to be aware of players around him and constantly makes the wrong decision. He should watch Smith-Rowe and learn a bit.

    1. yes he needs coaching (aka a brain) when he’s in the box. And he neds to realise too that he’s not going to beat Prem League defenders from a standing start, no matter how many stepovers he does.. Bluntly – he needs help to develop his football brain..

  2. Pepe – umm, yes, OK.. Potential is indeed the word. Unfortunately for him, he’s a victim of an embarrassing recruitment structure that has been misbehaving for many years including the Wenger era.
    When you pay £72m for a player, you expect an almost finished article – Pepe is very much a work-in-progress. He’s obviously a confidence player and, to be fair to him, he’s kept going longer than others in recent matches – his failings of late are often as he’s trying too hard.
    We’ll have to stick with him as we wouldn’t get half his fee today – and he does have value. It’s a shame that Willian so out of form as cover.. Maybe once we’re definitely non-top4, MA will give more youngsters a go and park Auba, Willian, Luiz and maybe Laca too. And please sell Bellerin..

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