Former Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has provided his take on the start to life made by Gunners summer signing Nicolas Pepe.
Following months of rampant speculation, the future of Ivorian attacker Pepe was finally decided back in August.
In something of a bolt from the blue, despite widespread reports of financial limitations, the 24-year-old made the move to Arsenal, for a club-record £72 million fee.
Pepe’s time in north London, though, has since proven altogether underwhelming.
Though it is of course still early doors in terms of his Arsenal career, the African’s displays have been erratic at best, with his showing versus Manchester United last week having seen Pepe draw widespread criticism.
Keane on Pepe: “Disappointed with him, since he come to the club he’s not had great body language. You see this kid [Saka], Pepe compared to him for the money they paid needs to do a lot more. His work rate, lack of quality, end product… He didnt put up a fight tonight” pic.twitter.com/gsauckxlg1
— Gurjit (@GurjitAFC) October 1, 2019
‘Give him some time’
One individual who feels as though Pepe simply needs time to adapt to the English game, and will soon prove why Arsenal made ‘a good decision’ in signing him, though, is Arsene Wenger.
When questioned on the former Lille man’s start to life at the Emirates last night, former Gunners boss Wenger suggested that Pepe is not yet playing with the ‘freedom’ that he did in France, explaining:
‘I like the player and I thought it was a good decision [to sign him].’
‘He’s not yet completely adapted and you have to give him some time.’
‘He looks a little bit to be playing not with the freedom he did in France at the moment.’
‘I see some characteristics of his game, especially off the ball, that don’t happen at the moment.’
‘On the other hand, I must say we have good young players who can play on the flanks, [and] that he will have a fight to keep his position.’
Quotes via the Express
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