Freddie Ljungberg has told Sky Sports – as quoted by BBC Sport – that Arsenal’s club-record signing Nicolas Pepe will only get better, after the Ivorian curled a stunning effort into the top corner against West Ham on Monday night.
The Gunners came from behind to beat West Ham 3-1 at the London Stadium, as Gabriel Martinelli and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang also found the back of the net. The Gunners, though, were dismal for the first hour of the match.
But in just nine minutes after the hour mark, Arsenal netted three goals. Pepe’s strike saw the £72million ace cut inside from the right flank after an incisive counter attack, and he curled an effort past David Martin into the top corner.
Interim manager Ljungberg was beaming after the match after securing his first win as Gunners manager in his third attempt, and he has predicted that Pepe will get “better and better” after scoring his first Premier League goal from open play.
“Nicolas is an amazing footballer,” Ljungberg declared. “It’s not easy to come here from the French league. He worked his socks off and he will get better and better.”
TBR’s view – Ljungberg bravery pays off, Pepe needs confidence
Ljungberg made the brave decision to drop Alexandre Lacazette, David Luiz and Matteo Guendouzi before the match, while Kieran Tierney and Hector Bellerin suffered injuries.
But Ljungberg picked a side that includes the likes of Martinelli who was in form, and removed those who were out of form. It completely paid off, as Arsenal finally secured three points and ended their two-month winless run in the league.
Pepe, meanwhile, needs confidence. If he is to thrive in the Premier League, Pepe needs plenty of encouragement and they will bring the best out of him.