A former Arsenal doesn’t trust his old club have “found the proper position” for the Ivory Coast international Pepe, MySportDab reports.
Nicolas Pepe “doesn’t look a confident player” at Arsenal and needs to be considered a “flop at the moment”, in accordance with Stewart Robson, who thinks Mikel Arteta could be the man to get “the best out of him”.
Arsenal beat a number of top clubs throughout Europe to Pepe’s signature last summer, as they successfully negotiated a club record £72 million ($89m) deal with French outfit Lille.
Big things have been expected of the 24-year-old upon his arrival at Emirates Stadium, with similarities being drawn between the winger and Gunners legend Thierry Henry, however, he has so far failed to stay up to expectations.
Pepe has contributed six goals and eight assists to Arsenal’s cause in 32 outings this season, however, he has yet to nail down a regular spot in the starting line-up.
The Ivorian has been unable to persistently deliver the goods in the final third of the pitch, whilst struggling to adapt to the rigorous demands of Premier League football.
Robson acknowledges the fact that Pepe has but to justify his transfer fee, however, he believes he is nevertheless capable of turning his career at the Emirates around under the coaching of Arteta.
“Slightly too early [to call him a flop],” the former Gunners midfielder told ESPN.
“He hasn’t been a fantastic success this season so far. He’s had one or two good games, a couple of suitable free kicks. I’m not positive they’ve found the right role for him.
“They’ve tried him on the right-wing the place he spent most of his time in France. Then they tried to play him up the front for a couple of games.
“Yet he is got pace, he can do a lot of things. At the moment they have not got the best out of him, he does not look a confident player.
“So he is a flop at the moment however I think he can get better subsequent year underneath [Mikel] Arteta.”
Pepe started Arsenal’s final match before the coronavirus-enforced break in the season, getting sixty-nine minutes underneath his belt in a 1-0 home win over West Ham on March 7.
Arteta’s men have been due back in action 4 days later away at Manchester City, however, the game was postponed amid a growing variety of COVID-19 cases in the United Kingdom.
The Premier League was shut down totally after the Arsenal boss has diagnosed with the sickness himself, however, he has since made a full recovery and is already looking beforehand to his first full season in charge.