Nicolas Pépé Will Come Good At Arsenal

Nicolas Pépé hasn’t hit the ground running at Arsenal as Gunners fans would’ve hoped.

He’s now made sixteen appearances for the Premier League club and in those outings Nicolas has only managed to score three times and create four assists.

The Arsenal faithful were probably expecting more from their £72m man, who scored twenty-two times and made eleven assists in his last season with Lille OSC in Ligue 1.

Pépé has shown glimpses of his talent in the red and white. His pace has caused various teams problems, even Liverpool struggled to deal with him at times.

The fact is that the twenty-four year old is still adapting to his new surroundings and the English style. He was under pressure from the get go, given the hefty price tag that it took to get him to The Emirates. That pressure has only intensified with the inconsistent results Arsenal have secured this term.

Gunners manager Unai Emery is now struggling to convince the home support that he’s the right person to get Arsenal back into the top four and challenging for silverware.

Club legend Robert Pires has stated that the Spaniard must know that things aren’t going to plan for the North London club:

‘Everybody knows at Arsenal, even Unai Emery, that they are in big trouble,’

‘But [Emery] is a competitor, he knows the high level. He was a great manager with Sevilla, with Paris Saint-Germain, but the situation is not so good.”

Via The Metro

Then there’s the position of club captain Granit Xhaka. The Swiss international isn’t a fan favourite at the Emirates. His inconsistent performances seem to sum up what’s wrong with Arsenal at the moment. In October during a home draw with Crystal Palace (BBC Match Report), Xhaka was subbed and he received jeers and boos from sections of his own team’s support. The international midfielder didn’t react well to the situation and he hasn’t been seen since.

This turmoil at the club has made things even tougher for Pépé. The heat that currently surrounds the squad can’t make it easy for the player’s to relax and play their best football.

Yet when you look deeper into the stats, the wide forward is actually showing signs of promise. No player has made more league assists and only Mesut Ozil has bettered Pépé’s average of 1.4 key passes per game. His 80% passing success rate is decent for a wide player and only the club’s two main hitmen have had more attempts at goal (Stats from Whoscored).

For me, it’s only a matter of time before Nicolas picks up more goals and assists. He’s trying and he has all the ability to do so. He just needs a break in luck and a bit more confidence.

The Ivorian international could look at Gunners legend Thierry Henry for inspiration.

The French World Cup winner also endured a slow start to his Arsenal career before he started shining and he’d end up the club’s all-time leading goalscorer.

Henry, himself, has also backed Nicolas Pépé to get on the right track with The Gunners:

“At the minute, it’s not a Pepe thing, it’s an Arsenal thing. Hopefully he and the team can get better so we can get in the top four again.”

“People need to forget about the price tag,” Henry told Yahoo Sports. “He didn’t ask to be bought for that amount of money himself.

“It’s not always easy to arrive in a team, adapt to a new style of play. The Premier League, as we know, is not the same as the French league – or any other league, by the way – so he needs to adapt to that. We need to give him time.

“He needs to make sure he doesn’t listen to that and go out and perform.”

Via Evening Standard

Maybe it will take a goal from open play, maybe it will take a rest from the team or maybe it will take Arsenal sacking Emery but I believe something will soon spark Nicolas Pépé into top form with The Gunners.

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