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‘Special’ Nicolas Pepe on course to prove former Lille teammate correct

(Photo by Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images)

Arsenal

‘Special’ Nicolas Pepe on course to prove former Lille teammate correct

Arsenal signed then-Lille winger, Nicolas Pepe, in the summer in what was a mega-money deal for the Gunners.

Pepe arrived at Arsenal for a fee in the region of £70m. Obviously, having spent such a massive fee, Gunners fans were hopeful that their new signing could add the impetus to get them flying up the table.

Nicolas Pepe

Nicolas Pepe appears to be finally putting in high-quality performances for Arsenal lately. (Photo by Chloe Knott – Danehouse/Getty Images)

However, under Unai Emery, Pepe struggled to show the sort of form he did in France. Just one league goal in his opening 13 PL games did nothing to really excite Arsenal fans.

He looked a far cry from proving what his former Lille teammate, Jose Fonte, had described him as in the summer.

Fonte, a former Southampton defender, claimed Pepe was ‘special’ and that Arsenal fans were ‘in for a treat’ when it came to the winger.

Those comments, for the opening months of the season, appeared to leave a lot of Arsenal fans scratching their heads.

 

But, since Mikel Arteta has arrived at the club, Pepe has shown a sharp upturn in form. This form has people very much looking at Pepe in a different light.

A massive turnaround

The last few months in particular have seen Nicolas Pepe finally begin to show what he is all about. An excellent performance against Man United back in January was a glimpse into what he had to offer.

Nicolas Pepe

Nicolas Pepe was in fine form before the enforced break in football this month. (Photo by Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images)

Following that game, Pepe put in a series of fine performances in a row. It culminated with a devastating display at home to Newcastle United. Indeed, Whoscored.com awarded Pepe a perfect ten for his performance that day.

The goals might not be flowing as regularly as he would like but the Ivory Coast star is coming to the fore.

He’s getting more shots off, creating more chances, and looking a real threat. It appears, then, that Pepe is living up to the claims Jose Fonte made about him.

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