Alan Smith has admitted that he’s been disappointed by the levels of Nicolas Pepe at Arsenal, claiming that he often blows “hot and cold” with his performances.
The left-footed attacker was a £72million (BBC) signing from Lille in the 2019 summer transfer window and he’s failed to nail down a spot in the starting line-up while playing in his second season with the club.
Pepe, who earns £100,000-a-week (Spotrac), has started just one Premier League game so far this campaign under manager Mikel Arteta
The Ivory Coast international has proven his quality in the Europa League group stages with a couple of goals and couple of assists, but has found it much more difficult in the league.
“I’m sure Mikel Arteta would like to add to the players he’s already got… Pepe is hot and cold, for £70-odd million, that’s been a disappointing signing so far,” Smith told Sky Sports.
Pepe often struggles to make an impact off the bench for Arsenal and he’s clearly not a favourite under the manager, but perhaps Arteta needs to give him a run of starts in the league to help him build his confidence up.
The right-winger certainly has top-class ability on his day and gives the Gunners an extra attacking threat, something they need right now as a lack of goals has been a problem at the beginning of the season.
He had an average first season at the Emirates Stadium that will be remembered for some good and some bad moments, but Arsenal need to at least try to get the most out of their £72million signing by giving him an extended run in the XI.
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