Ex-Gunner Criticizes Arsenal For Spending Whopping Amount on Pepe
Former French footballer Jeremie Aliadiere has slammed Arsenal for spending a whopping £72m on Nicolas Pepe.
Pepe became one of the most coveted players last summer following a stellar 2018-19 campaign in France where he scored 23 goals and provided 12 assists across 41 games in all competitions for Lille.
The Ivory Coast international eventually joined the Gunners in a record move from the Ligue 1 side at the beginning of the 2019-2020 season.
Pepe is enduring a difficult debut season in England and has come under intense criticism for failing to live up to his price tag.
Despite his slow start to life in North London, the 24-year-old has shown glimpses of what he is capable of in some matches and has scored six goals and provided eight assists in his first 32 games in England.
Aliadiere believes Pepe lacks consistency and has admonished the Ivorian to start showing his worth at the Emirates Stadium.
“I saw what he did with Lille last season and he is an amazing player,” the 37-year-old told Goal. “So, I’m not denying his talent.”
“What I’m seeing, though, is the most expensive player in Arsenal’s history and even if you don’t want to think about the money, the fact is that money is, unfortunately, a big thing in football.
“And when you spend that much money on a player, you expect more goals and you expect more assists.”
He added: “If you look at his stats, I would say he has had an alright season.”
“Now, obviously it is not easy, as I know having been there, but the thing that has disappointed me a tiny bit is his decision-making during games.”
“For a player who cost £72m, it’s the simple parts of the game that sometimes I see him lacking. And that's what I pick on a bit.”
“Yes, he goes on a good dribble and goes through two or three players – that’s amazing. But when you have (Pierre-Emerick) Aubameyang on your left and all you have to do is pass the ball in the right spot, and instead cut it back at the wrong time, that bothers me. And I’ve seen that quite a lot from him this season.”
“Maybe with confidence, with more games, that will improve. But it’s that sort of thing – when he switches off and seems to lack concentration – that gets to me.
“That is something you can’t really have with top, top players who come for that sort of money. The easy stuff has got to be done properly.”