'Out of his depth': Paul Merson delivers blunt verdict on Arsenal star Nicolas Pepe
Paul Merson claims that Nicolas Pepe looks "out of his depth" at Arsenal
Paul Merson has claimed that Nicolas Pepe looks “out of his depth” at Arsenal, insisting that he isn’t sure what he brings to the Gunners team.
The Ivory Coast international made the headlines for the wrong reasons last weekend when he was shown a straight red card for violent conduct during the second half of Arsenal’s goalless draw against Leeds United.
Pepe has struggled to find consistent form for the Gunners since his big-money move to The Emirates from Lille last summer, and he has only managed to scored one goal in the Premier League so far this term.
The 25-year-old has only started two games in the Premier League for the Gunners, and will now be missing due to suspension.
Pepe did go some way towards making amends for his sending off when he scored in the 3-0 win over Molde in the Europa League on Thursday night.
However, former Arsenal star Merson has not been at all impressed by what he has seen from the attacker since his arrival at the north London club.
Writing in his column for the Daily Star, Merson said: “Nicolas Pepe looks out of his depth and he’s going to have to do it against much better teams than Molde to change my opinion.
“I can understand how he got sent off in the Leeds game. He’s been having a nightmare ever since he joined Arsenal and one Europa League goal in Norway won’t change that.
“He let his frustration get the better of him against Leeds and did something silly with the headbutt, because things haven’t been going well for him at Arsenal for months.
“He came in for £70-odd million. If they’d bought him for £20m nobody would be moaning. But the fee brings pressure, and he’s not been able to handle it.
“I watch him play and I don’t know what he brings to the table. But it’s not his fault Arsenal are struggling.
“I don’t think Mikel Arteta knows his best team and he’s been there a long time now. He keeps changing it too much. It’s worrying.”
Arsenal will return to Europa League action on Thursday night when they take on Rapid Vienna at home, before their crunch north London derby clash against Tottenham next weekend.