Since his arrival at Arsenal we’ve seen glimpses of his quality. We’ve seen great free kicks, goals from outside the penalty area and seen him beat players comfortably in one against one situations. However, for me we simply not seen this enough and should be seeing more from a player whom we spent roughly £70m to bring in.
For me, whenever Pepe is on the ball or involved in the attacking third he looks dangerous. Technically he’s gifted and he’s certainly got pace as well. What seems to hold him back from putting in good quality performances consistently is his ability to get involved. In my opinion he seems to drift through games at times and isn’t demanding the ball whenever he gets the chance. It seems as though he wants to score goals, but isn’t too fussed if he doesn’t and this kind of casual attitude is hindering his ability to perform to the standard that we know he is capable of.
Last night’s game was a good example of this. Whenever he was on the ball last night he looked tidy and capable of causing Liverpool problems. The fact that we could barely hold the ball as a team undoubtedly make it difficult, but I still hoped to see more from him last night. I wanted to see him thrive on the chance to play against a significantly weakened Liverpool side and give the likes of Neco Williams a real uncomfortable time.
Regarding the recent team selections, I do have sympathy for Pepe. We brought in a top player in Willian this summer and with Lacazette starting the season well it makes the Arsenal front three difficult to break into for any player. Furthermore, the large transfer fee put over his head is certainly not the fault of Nicolas Pepe, but the fault of the Arsenal directors. At the moment, Pepe’s performances are not bad, they’re just not as good as what we thought they would be and so you have to give him some more time. Having said that, I would really expect to see his performances improve as the season progresses and for him to show the ability that we all know he has.