Nicolas Pepe is a fantastic player when played in a system that suits him.
At his best for Lille, Pepe played for a team that sit deep and looked to hit opponents on the break.
Pepe’s pace and power was Rennes main outlet. The man they looked for firstly on that break.
Mikel Arteta looks to play a high pressing game and dominate the ball in the opponents half. Our defence is often up and around the halfway line and the attacking players do not have a great deal of space to operate in.
This means Arteta needs his forward players to be quick of thought and good at passing in tight areas whilst under pressure. Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe both excel in tight areas.
The likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Pepe are players that prefer counter attacking football; not possession based.
Whilst Aubameyang can get away with his technical deficiencies, Pepe can not.
Too often his passing and slow thinking has been exposed. Play often breaks down or slows up when it reaches Pepe’s feet.
Pepe is excellent playing on the edge of the game. He has that bit of magic. Most of his goals come from his own individual brilliance.
But Arsenal can not afford to carry Pepe for 70% of the league games in the hope Pepe does something in the other 30%.
Three years ago we spent £72million on Pepe.
At the end of this season he will have two years left on his Arsenal deal and a book value of £28.8million.
If Arsenal can cash in on him next summer for around £30million, it will be a good deal done.
Rumours are that Raheem Sterling would be his replacement. Arsenal have been linked in a deal costing around £40million.
Selling Pepe for £30million and signing Sterling for £40million would be a very smart move.
Pepe is still young at 26. He played at the centre in France. Get off 30 yr old Laca and play him there.
Laca can’t pass and score but has a work rate. He’s playing for new contract. Arsenal should not fall into the trap. If we offer a new contract to Laca, we’ll have another, Ozil and Auba on our hands.
Get rid of Laca and Nketiah who wants to leave and let Pepe play there. Wenger moved Rvp from the wing to the centre and he repaid us, Arteta should do same to Pepe.
RVP repaid us by dumping us an moving to our big rivals at the time.
Pepe is not up to the Premier league. He must be sold. Also, sterling is not the answer imo.
Cant see us getting 30 million quid for Pepe but if we could bring in a player of Sterling`s class for 40 million then its a no brainer. He would instantly improve us and he`s still at an age where he might even get better. Guardiola is the best in the business but I cannot for the life of me understand why he`s chosen to freeze Sterling out. Unfortunately for us, the Pepe signing summed up our recruitment pre Arteta. Signing players with talent became more important than signing players with character. Thankfully, we now seem to be changing course in that regard. Pepe has plenty of ability but he`s got no heart. Another Ozil type player in my opinion, not a player you`d want to be in the in the trenches with, that`s for sure.