Nicolas Pepe has not lived up to the hype he created since his arrival.
The League 1 stats were simply mind-blowing for Nicolas Pepe when he gets a call to England’s reputed side Arsenal in 2009. €65 million transfer was quite above average for a 22-year-old at that point in time. Mikel Arteta and Nicolas Pepe came together in that season for new roles in the toughest time of Gunners.
The new settings and lifestyle in England were not as easy as in France. The playing time in Lille was the starting point of his career and so less stressful. Entering into the next segment of his profession obviously demands more responsibility and quality. Especially, a squad like Arsenal will seek it in a dynamic range. Premier League surroundings are most competitive and there is no permanent comfort zone.
Pepe featured in 62 games for Gunners which he got only 13 goals which are not enough for a typical Arsenal winger. Also playing along with superstars like Aubameyang and Ozil pressurized him to rise to top-level performance.
The Warning from Remy striker for Pepe
Loic Remy is Chelsea’s former striker who played 3 seasons for Blues over 2014-17. He got only 47 games in the span of three years from which he scored 12 goals (Transfermarkt). He had a tough time in Stamford Bridge and he recalled a similar situation with Pepe.
Remy confirmed the competition level in England. Keeping the form in the Premier League is the toughest challenge for a striker. Pepe is 25 now and he is facing competition for the spot in the starting lineup within the squad. “He was flying in Lille and he was the best player in the team, Then, when you get to the next step, the expectation is really high. You cannot have one day of being lazy or late. The intensity in big clubs is like that” Remy told Goal
Pepe should convince Arteta as the team is not finding momentum for the last few seasons. The spot in the top six is also getting tougher and Gunners has got formation problems after Arteta taking control of the team.
Gunners should find form again
Mesut Ozil is not even in the team squad and Arteta is yet to find a perfect combination in the midfield. The form of Aubameyang should be preserved with correct supplies in the frontline. Pepe’s season camp is not going well. He earned just 2 goals from 11 appearances. And the transfermarket is open.
Pepe has got a contract with Gunners till 2024. But it isn’t safe as per current stats. Commenting on the situation, former midfielder of Gunners Emmanuel Frimpong urged Emirates chiefs to think about selling the Ivorian if he does not step up his game.
“There was a lot of hype about Pepe coming to Arsenal and he’s been very disappointing. “He’s another player I think needs to step up his game and if he doesn’t, we need to get him out and bring in other players to help push us up the table”, he said. (Talksport)
Arsenal is placed 11th in the table with 23 points from 17 games. Also, the lack of Champions league opportunities for long years has been frustrating for Gunners fans. Now, Europa berth is also a challenge for them. North Londoners should fight back with high spirit and a revival is urgent at Emirates. For that hopes like Pepe need to push himself to a better position that can help the team in these toughest conditions.