Arsenal have been pretty frustrated with Nicolas Pepe thus far in a Gunners shirt but there are signs there that the Ivorian is starting to fulfil his massive potential.
Pepe, 25, arrived at Arsenal with huge fanfare around him. A massive fee of over £70m was reported by numerous outlets, with the pressure immediately put on the shoulders of the former Lille man.
And by his own admission, things haven’t gone quite as well as Pepe would have liked. Inconsistent performances, a couple of niggling injuries, plus a change in management, all putting the brakes on his development in north London.
But with Mikel Arteta now at the helm and Arsenal beginning to tick along, Pepe has shown this season with a couple of moments that he might well be developing into the world-class player the Gunners hoped he’d be.
You don’t have to delve into the stats to see what sort of player Pepe is. The winger is a direct, quick, and tricky player who is best suited with the ball at his feet and a defender to get past.
His goal against Dundalk was superb, demonstratin the sort of quality you’d expect for a £7om plus player who earns a reported £100k-a-week. But in addition to that goal, Pepe also scored a fine solo effort which turned into the winning goal against Sheffield United.
Pepe twisted his way past a normally rigid Blades defence and finished with aplomb that day. It was, if anything, a momentary glimpse into just what the Ivory Coast star can bring to the table.
Of course, consistency is key. But Arteta has already said this week he is impressed by Pepe and that there is more to come.
So, with a smattering of his talent already on display and ample opportunities to come in a busy fixture calendar, Nicolas Pepe could well see the 20/21 season be his time for Arsenal.