Karl Fredrik Ljungberg, Arsenal coach, is positive that Nicolas Pepe will prove worthy once he keeps practicing hard on his potentials behind the scene.
Nicolas Pepe needs some ‘adaptation’ according to what Ljungberg said in his interviews, and he believes the 25-year-old ‘will come good.’
In 2019, it was announced that Pepe had joined Arsenal on a £72 million switch from Lille. Pepe is since trying to live up to his heavy price tag but has yet to show the talent he was once sought after for in French League, Ligue 1.
The Ivory Coast international appeared in 42 games in 2019-20 and scored only eight goals. The start of the new season wasn’t a game-changer either. Scoring only one goal in eight Premier League appearances did not do him any justice and had many complaints. Headbutting Ezgjon Alioski in the tie 0-0 battle with Leeds United was the last straw for the supporters. However, Pepe made up for some of those mistakes by pulling off a great performance in the battle against Molde in the Europe League on Thursday.
Arsenal coach, Ljungberg, believes the former Lille star should not be judged so negatively in his first year, and that he will live up to his promises.
“I think Nico will come good,” The Arsenal legend said. “Nico wants to work. Every player makes mistakes. I got sent off at Spurs!
“Don’t slaughter them too much because it happens to all of us.
“The important thing is how they react afterwards and if he knuckles down, works even harder and still tries to prove himself. He’s not had the easiest time, there’s a lot of focus on him.
“I could say easy things like, ‘Yeah, he needs game time’. OK, but you have a lot of other players as well who need game time. That’s what is difficult.
“When you come from the French league to the Premier League, you need a bit of adaptation.
“It’s totally different football and everything around football. So you need game time but you need results at the same time. It’s not an easy balance.”