Roy Keane gives verdict on ‘disappointing’ Arsenal summer signing

Man United legend Roy Keane hasn't been impressed with Nicolas Pepe since his arrival at Arsenal

Arsenal signing Nicolas Pepe (Photo: Arsenal / Instagram)
Arsenal signing Nicolas Pepe (Photo: Arsenal / Instagram)

Roy Keane says he has been disappointed by Nicolas Pepe’s impact at Arsenal since his club-record transfer in the summer.

The Ivory Coast international moved to Arsenal in a £72m deal from Ligue 1 side Lille to bolster Unai Emery’s team.

Pepe started his fifth Premier League game at Old Trafford on Monday night as the Arsenal manager decided to stick with his summer signing.

The 24-year-old completed just 77 per cent of his attempted passes, registered two shots on goal and was dispossessed three times.

Emery substituted Pepe for youngster Reiss Nelson with 16 minutes to go following the African winger’s disappointing performance.

Pepe has scored one goal and has made one assist since his move to the north London side in a slow start to his Arsenal career.

And former Manchester United midfielder Keane hasn’t been blown away by Pepe’s subdued performances for Arsenal so far.

“Disappointed with him since he’s come to the club,” Keane told Sky Sports.

“Not great body language… OK, sometimes we make excuses for players a lot, it takes time to settle into a club. You see this young kid on Monday night [Saka], Pepe compared to him for the money they paid, he needs to do a lot more.

“His work rate, his lack of quality, end product, his body language. He didn’t seem up for the fight.”

Arsenal won the race to sign Pepe in the summer after Emery smashed the club’s previous transfer record to sign the Ivorian winger in a big-money deal.

The Gunners are in fourth place in the Premier League table after Emery’s side earned a point against Manchester United at Old Trafford.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang cancelled out Scott McTominay’s first-half goal for the Red Devils to secure a 1-1 stalemate.

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