Former Arsenal star on why Gunners overpaid for £72m Nicolas Pepe

Nicolas Pepe Arsenal TEAMtalk

Jeremie Aliadiere believes Arsenal’s record signing Nicolas Pepe will struggle to live up to his £72m transfer fee and suggests the Gunners may have overpaid for the Ivorian star.

Pepe, who moved to North London in the summer transfer window from Lille for a club-record £72m, has not yet scored for the Gunners but has assisted two goals in six appearances in all competitions.

However, the player struggled to make an impact on the game at Old Trafford on Monday night as Arsenal claimed a 1-1 draw at Man Utd, with Pepe hooked on 75 minutes for Reiss Nelson.

And Aliadiere, working as a pundit for Stadium Astro, believes that while Pepe may eventually come good, he believes Arsenal spent too much in luring him from the French side this summer.

“He’s a player that’s going to need a bit of time to adjust – I don’t know how long.

“He’s had not such a great start to the season. I expected more from him. Even just the basic passes are not clear.

“From what I saw last year at Lille, I expected him to come here and do a lot.

“But it might take him more time to adjust, so hopefully we’ll see the same Pepe we saw last year.”

Aliadiere, however, did have some words of comfort for Pepe, who believes that, in time, the player will find some form for Arsenal.



“I think he’ll be OK,” the former Arsenal striker added.

“He won’t live up to the £72m they paid for him. With that fee, you expect the best and I don’t think he will be.

“I think he’ll do well and score some goals but he won’t score 20 goals this season.”

Criticism of Pepe comes just a few days after another former Gunner, Paul Merson, issued a damning 10-word verdict over his performances for Arsenal.