Lille’s sporting director Luis Campos has likened Arsenal winger Nicolas Pepe to Kylian Mbappe and Cristiano Ronaldo.
The Portuguese chief was speaking to Sky Sports about the 24-year-old following his £72 million summer move to the Emirates Stadium from the French outfit (BBC Sport).
He believes the Premier League club have got themselves a brilliant player who possesses an equally impresive mentality.
He said (quoted by Goal): “In my opinion one of the characteristics of a top, top player is that they like football.
“I remember working with Cristiano Ronaldo and Kylian Mbappe: they know everything about football. Mbappe knew all the results of the second division in France.
“Nicolas Pepe is like that. He’s another example of the importance of a player liking football.
“After a game he watches the whole game again two times, to make himself more perfect.”
Pepe is slowly beginning to catch the eye in north London after a somewhat sluggish start to life in English football.
In 10 appearances the £140,000-a-week Ivorian (Spotrac) has contributed one penalty goal and three assists, and fans are keen to see him kick on after the second international break.
Campos’ assessment is sure to encourage Arsenal supporters, who have only had glimpses of their record signing’s potential so far.
The fact that Pepe is so invested and engaged in his profession, and actively tries to improve himself when not even playing perhaps suggests he stands a good chance of becoming a world-class player, as Mbappe and Ronaldo both are.
Having natural talent is one thing in football, but as Ronaldo in particular has demonstrated, putting in the extra work off the pitch can make all the difference.