“The thing I worry about him” Pundit says Pepe’s form will still not keep him in the team

Arsenal has waited for over a year for Nicolas Pepe to begin to show why they broke their transfer record to sign him.

The Ivorian joined them from Lille in the summer of 2019 and spent the whole of last season showing only flashes of how good he can be.

He has been in and out of the team in this campaign as well, but his form has been fantastic in recent weeks.

With Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang still yet to earn his first-team place back, Pepe has been handed chances in the Arsenal attack.

While he has been solid on the attack, the winger has struggled to replicate that form in defence.

Alan Smith thinks he isn’t doing enough to help the team defend, and that could see him return to the bench to play as an impact sub, despite his fine run of form.

“He has been better,” Smith said on Sky Sports’ Pitch to Post Preview Podcast

“With his attitude and work ethic at times and he’s produced some moments of quality going forward.

“The thing I worry about him is he does tend to switch off when he loses the ball and when the team loses it and that will frustrate Arteta watching from the sidelines.

“Sometimes he makes a little token run but I just don’t feel his heart is in it.

If that’s the case the manager will have noted that, he’ll have seen it, and that colours your opinion of a player.

“He’s got talent, there’s no doubt about it, but I don’t think he’s got £70 million worth of talent – that’s not his fault, it’s a bad piece of negotiating on Arsenal’s part.

“If they can get something out of him great, but it might be as the weeks go on he’s more of an impact substitute.”

Pepe has 7 goals and 3 assists in 27 matches this season.

READ MORE: More bad news for Arsenal regarding Thomas Partey

Tags Alan Smith Nicolas Pepe

3 Comments

  1. Grandad says:

    The defensive weakness highlighted by the sensible Mr.Smith also applies to Auba.Compare this to Saka and Martinelli who never shirk from their defensive responsibilities and make us a more secure unit.

    1. jon fox says:

      Yes Grandad , exactly right! It boil s down to which players are true professionals with true profesional attitudes to their profession and which are coasters only in it forthemselves. There is aworld of difference between MARTINELLI, SAKA TIERNEY AND ON THE OTHER HAND , IDLE PLAYERS LIKE PEPE , WILLIANA AND AUBA. Great pros in other teams include Milner, Henderson, Sterling, De Bruyne, Kane, Son, Grealish, Vardy, Maddison, Ings, Ward- Prowse, Calvert- Lewin, etc etc.

      ALL of those fine players bust a gut for their cause. But lazy players are next to useless, as I HAVE BEEN SAYING time and time again on JA, because it is profoundly true, for many years past.

  2. Arsenal2win says:

    Aside his work rate, I still believe in Pepe 2 come good &
    be that danger man that he is. I still plead 4 more patience.

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