Former Chelsea striker Tony Cascarino has called on Arsenal record signing Nicolas Pepe to improve quickly on the back of his north London derby display against Tottenham.
Pepe started the game on the right wing, much to the delight of the supporters, but while he showed flashes of quality, he was unable to drag the game Arsenal’s way.
In the Times, Cascarino wrote: “Pépé will have to grow up quickly if Arsenal want to see an immediate return for the £72 million they spent. He has clearly got talent and bags of pace and skill but he seemed a bit lost at times.
“It all felt a bit loose and off the cuff — it’s early days but he needs to refine his game if he is going to shine at the top.”
TBR’s View – A slightly harsh appraisal but Pepe will need to become more ruthless
Pepe scored 22 goals for Lille last season so it’s clear to see that he is more than just a show pony wideman, but the challenge for him is to reproduce that form in a better league.
There has been talk of Arsenal’s front three rivaling Liverpool’s now that Pepe has arrived, but the Reds frontline is so ruthless – and that’s the level the Gunners need to get to.
As Cascarino said, Pepe showed signs of what he can do, without having a consistent impact on the game or deciding it in his side’s favour.
He will likely improve as the season wears on and he gets more familiar with his new team-mates, and start to decide the bigger games, as he was brought in to do.