Former Tottenham midfielder Danny Murphy has come out to defend Arsenal forward Nicolas Pepe, who looks set to leave north London this summer.
The Ivory Coast international arrived at the Emirates for a club record fee back in 2019, but having failed to hold down a regular starting role in recent seasons, now looks set to leave for pastures new.
While many will describe Pepe as a flop, he showed plenty of ability during his time with us, but for one reason or another, the level of consistency that we needed he wasn’t able to find.
Former Spurs star Murphy has come out to defend the former Lille man, claiming his numbers in his second season were better than most.
“You have to look past this. Just on Pepe, I quite like him,” he told talkSPORT.
“He’s a talented player. But his first two seasons were alright. His second season, when he became a bit more settled, he got 16 goals in 47 games.
“That’s a lot more than a lot of players who we say are good players in the Premier League. 16 goals in 47 games is not bad. The season after, he fell away, probably because of Saka and Emile Smith Rowe coming through and taking his place.”
I can kind of understand where Murphy is coming from, but at the same time, you can’t really feel sorry for Pepe. Whilst he has mostly seemed professional, he hasn’t seemed to show as much passion and fight as his younger counterparts, who have all usurped him in the pecking order.
Do you think Pepe’s time at Arsenal would have gone differently had we paid a more reasonable fee to sign him?