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Hit or miss? Assessment of Nicolas Pepe’s Arsenal spell so far

Photo by James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images

Arsenal

Hit or miss? Assessment of Nicolas Pepe’s Arsenal spell so far

For some, it still hasn’t quite sunk in that Arsenal spent £72 million to sign Nicolas Pepe this summer (BBC Sport).

The Ivorian was the club’s marquee signing, and is the new record signing having cost considerably more than the £56 million it took to sign Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from Borussia Dortmund (BBC Sport).

With the second international break now upon us, perhaps the time is right to assess Pepe’s spell at the club so far.

Background

Arsenal were known to be attempting to sign Wilfried Zaha as the transfer window drew to a close, but Crystal Palace stood firm over the 26-year-old.

Th Eagles reportedly wanted £100 million for their prized asset (Daily Mail), which forced the Gunners to consider other options.

(Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)

Pepe, who had been loosely linked with the north Londoners, then quickly became the new priority after an amazing season over in France with Lille in which he scored 23 goals and made 12 assists.

How’s he looked so far?

Pepe is slowly warming to the Premier League after a somewhat sluggish start.

 

The 24-year-old has scored one goal and made three assists so far, but fans will expect him to kick on after the international break.

Pepe is no doubt going to be a real handful for defenders once he fully gets to grips with the intensity of the English game.

(Photo by James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images)

So far, the £140,000-a-week winger (Spotrac) has shown his ability only in bursts, but the likelihood is he will flourish the more he plays alongside the likes of Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette.

Verdict

It would extremely harsh to call Pepe a miss because he has shown in glimpses why the Gunners forked out so much for him.

That said, it would also be a slight stretch to brand him a hit, because he has not set the world alight across his 10 appearances so far.

Four goal involvements in 10 games is not terrible considering he has only just joined the club from a foreign team, but fans will certainly hope he can increase his output knowing how dangerous he was last year.

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