Nicolas Pepe turned a lot of heads last season during his breakout year with Lille, with most European giants trying to enter his sweepstakes as one of the most disruptive forwards in the world.
Arsenal ended up making a huge investment to take him to the Emirates Stadium but so far, the Ivorian has mightily struggled to live up to the hype and the expectations.
And now that Unai Emery is no longer in charge of the Gunners, apparently new boss Freddie Ljungberg isn’t impressed by Pepe’s work ethic, as he claimed he didn’t feature him in the game vs. Norwich because of ‘what he saw in training every day’:
“(Nicolas) Pepe is a very good player but I try to go off what I see in training and what’s being done every day and that’s how I judge,” Ljumberg said after the match, as quoted by Goal.
This was the third time Pepe stayed on the bench for struggling Arsenal, and this is definitely not a good look for the so-called star reinforcement.
Pepe scored 22 goals last season, trailing just Kylian Mbappe for the Ligue 1’s top scorer, but has only found the bottom of the nets 3 times with 4 assists in 16 caps for the Gunners so far.
Things are looking very bad for Arsenal right now, as they’re far behind in the race for a spot in the Top-Four and all their players struggling to take a step forward and lead the team.
Moreover, their captain Granit Xhaka continues to challenge the team’s supporters and showing a complete lack of leadership as the team tries to get back on their feet after the Arsene Wenger era.
So, hopefully Pepe will start working harder in training and paying back the 72 million investment the North London team did to sign him, or he’ll be considered one of the biggest busts in Arsenal history.