Nicolas Pepe had a difficult debut season for Arsenal and a former Gunner player says it is time for the former Lille forward to prove his worth.
Pepe must start improving simple parts of his game in order to show the fans why he cost £72 million.
The former Arsenal striker Jeremie Aliadiere, believes that Pepe has yet to improve and show why the Gunnars paid that kind of money for him.
Right before the season was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic, Pepe scored six goals for the Gunners in all competitions and assisted eight goals.
However, Pepe has occasional flashes of brilliance, but that is not enough, as the Ivory Coast international does not have consistency in his game.
The unconvincing performances of the 24-year-player has led to plenty of criticism and the Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport even labelling him one of Europe’s four biggest flops of the season so far.
However, Aliadiere, who spent eight years with Arsenal, believes that it is unfair to criticise Pepe as it is his first season, but he need to start proving his worth.
“I saw what he did with Lille last season and he is an amazing player,” Aliadiere said in an interview for Goal.
“So, I’m not denying his talent. What I’m seeing, though, is the most expensive player in Arsenal’s history and even if you don’t want to think about the money, the fact is that money is, unfortunately, a big thing in football.
“And when you spend that much money on a player, you expect more goals and you expect more assists.”
Nicolas Pepe joined the Gunners last summer after Emery failed to signed Wilfried Zaha from Crystal Palace.
The former Arsenal boss admitted that he insisted on signing Zaha over Pepe, as the Crystal Palace star is already used to playing in the Premier League, but the Arsenal hierarchy preferred Pepe.
When Emery was in charge of Arsenal, the whole team lost its will to play, but when Arteta was assigned as their new manager, the whole squad improved.
Mikel Arteta might be the only one who can help Pepe adapt to the Premier League style of play more quickly.