Arsenal look forward to regaining their lost glory this term. Nicolas Pepe is likely to play a key role in Arteta’s plans.
Arsenal was able to start the season with a victory. The Gunners made a 3-0 triumph over Fulham in the league opening game. Mikel Arteta’s lads were impressive on the field and gave a tough time for Fulham. Arteta did make some key changes to the squad in the first game. A questionable chance being Nicolas Pepe dropped from the starting eleven.
The former Lille forward was a regular pick at Arsenal since his arrival. Though he did take some time to show his worth, he was able to seal the right-wing to himself. But Mikel Arteta chose to play Willian on the right flank in their first league game.
The Brazilian did showcase some amazing games on the pitch as well. The debutant had his touch in each of the goals from Arsenal. His exceptional performance will see Arteta pick him more in the future. But that does not mean Pepe will lose his role in the pecking order.
Nicolas Pepe is likely to play a pivotal role in Arsenal this term. The frontman usually plays along with the right-wing. But can also be converted into a prolific striker. This is an attribute that Mikel Arteta can develop in the Ivorian. Arsenal will need a reliable forward in the future and Pepe is a considerable option.
Pepe may step in for Lacazette
Though the Frenchman did find the net in the first victory of Arsenal. Alexandre Lacazette has been dipping down his performance graph. This has been a concern for Arteta. Arsenal did make the Frenchman available in the market hoping to use the fund to sign a reliable striker. But it seems as though Arteta will have to play with him for a while longer.
Mikel Arteta will try to push Lacazette to his limits to regain his form. But if the plan goes sideways, Arteta may consider Pepe to play a more central role. The Ivory Coast international can play as a false nine to reinforce the frontline. Being defensively weak Pepe will not have to play many tackles in the position.
Mikel Arteta has been an innovative manager, so far considering ways to improve his squad tactically. Playing Pepe in the central role will boost his attack. It will make it a tough game for opponent defenders as the Ivorian can cut in with relatable ease. And with Lacazette, Auba, and Willian ready to pounce on the ball. Arsenal will have a steady frontline ready to use every chance.
Pepe is also familiar with playing as a secondary forward. The Ivorian used to play a similar role back in Lille. Netting a total of 22 goals for the French side during his time there. If Arteta can unlock his perks in the central area, it will be a major boost for Arsenal’s attack.
Arteta wants Pepe to work hard
Nicolas Pepe was only able to manage less than 15 minutes on the pitch in the opening match. We saw Willian stride through the flanks providing chances for the attack. A couple of them were converted into valuable goals in Arsenal’s victory. Which will genuinely upgrade Willian up the pecking order.
“Well, it’s not [just] for Nico, I think it’s all the players, they have to raise their level, then the performances of the club are going to improve.” Mikel Arteta, via Daily Star.
But Mikel Arteta has seemingly urge Pepe to work harder to gain more time on the field. The Spanish manager wants the star to work more in order to get his full potential on the pitch. Arteta understands that unless he has a player at his 100% Arsenal risk high stakes.
The Spaniard has been making steady and impressive improvements at Arsenal. He makes key tactical tweaks every now and then that provide positive results for the Gunners. They were able to seal a good start in the league. If Arteta and his boys keep playing at this rank they can finish in the top-four.