Premier league news Unai Emery backs Nicolas Pepe to justify his £72m price tag and make 'progress' Last spor news
PremierLeague-News.Com - Nicolas Pepe joined Arsenal from Lille in the summer of 2019 for a club-record fee of £72million, but his Gunners career is still waiting to spark into life
PremierLeague-News.Com - Breaking Sport Transfer News ! Unai Emery - the former Arsenal manager - is confident that winger Nicolas Pepe is going to make "progress" at the Emirates Stadium, despite his failure to so far live up to his £72million price tag. Pepe joined Arsenal from French outfit Lille during the summer of 2019 for a club-record fee, after the Gunners hierarchy made the decision to secure his signature instead of Wilfried Zaha's. Both Pepe and Zaha were closely linked with moves to north London throughout the summer window, as Emery looked to add a new attacking option to his squad ahead of the 2019/20 Premier League campaign. Video Loading Video Unavailable Click to play Tap to play The video will auto-play soon8Cancel Play now In the end, despite Emery's wish to sign Zaha, Pepe was the player that the Gunners opted for, after the Ivory Coast international had shown tremendous amounts of quality at Lille during the 2018/19 season. However, Pepe's maiden season in north London failed to live up to expectation, with the winger scoring just eight goals in 42 appearances in all competitions, meaning he attracted no shortage of criticism from the club's supporters. This season, too, the 25-year-old has struggled to hit the high notes, scoring just two Premier League goals in 11 outings. This season, Pepe has netted five goals in 21 appearances across the Premier League, Europa League, FA Cup and League Cup, as well as registering three assists. Although the winger's numbers do not make terrific viewing, Emery, who is now thriving in charge of Spanish giants Villarreal, is confident that Arsenal's supporters will soon start to see Pepe for what he really is. Read More Related Articles Unai Emery reveals Arsenal transfer instructions after Wilfried Zaha confirmed talks were held Read More Related Articles Exclusive: Unai Emery on 'positive' Arsenal spell, Ozil issue and brilliant Bukayo Saka anecdote "I was thinking at this time that the adaption of Zaha was probably easier and faster than Pepe, but Pepe is a very good player and I think he’s going to progress," Emery, who was sacked by the Gunners in December 2019, told football.london. "He’s now almost two years in London and he’s going to progress because he’s a very good player." If Pepe is to match Emery's prediction, he has a lot of hard work to do. This season, the right-winger has started just four times in the Premier League, with one of those four starts resulting in him being sent-off for launching a headbutt at Leeds United's Ezgjan Alioski during the clash at Elland Road back in November.
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Source = PremierLeague-News.Com