Nicolas Pepe has struggled to live up to his record price-tag since joining Arsenal in 2019, but Patrice Evra believes the winger “can destroy any player” on his day. The Gunners spent £72million on Pepe last year after a breakthrough season at Lille where he scored 22 goals as well as providing 11 assists in the league.
But he’s only shown glimpses of that kind of form at Arsenal and has since fallen out of favour under Mikel Arteta.
Since Willian joined in the summer, Arteta has opted to utilise Pepe as a role player this season.
His only start in the league before the game against Leeds came in the 1-0 defeat to Manchester City last month.
But Pepe’s managed to find some good form in the Europa League, scoring twice and providing as many assists in three games.
JUST IN: Ljungberg criticises Arsenal boss Arteta over Mesut Ozil decision
Arteta opted to change things up against Leeds though, dropping Alexandre Lacazette for Pepe.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was moved through to the middle with Pepe deployed on the right.
Evra knows what it takes to move from Ligue 1 to the Premier League having left Monaco in 2006 to join Manchester United.
The 39-year-old admits to being brought back down to earth after thinking he was the world’s best left-back at the time of his move to Old Trafford.
Freddie Ljungberg explains what made him leave Arsenal in the summer
Tottenham ace warned joining Arsenal would be ‘too much hassle’
Agent of ‘next Mesut Ozil’ honoured to be linked with Arsenal transfer
Evra, who faced off against Pepe in the latter stages of his career, suggests the Ivory Coast international is experiencing something similar at Arsenal.
But he has backed Pepe to realise his full potential at the Emirates.
“I have so much respect for the French league but you need a moment to adapt like myself,” he said on Sky Sports.
“When I joined Manchester United I thought I was the best left-back in the world, after my first game I realised Premier League is a different game.
“You just need to understand that.
“But today should be a great game for him because Leeds like to play one vs one and he can destroy any player one vs one.”
Arsenal are desperate to build up a run of form after a tough start to the season.
They’ve already faced Liverpool, Manchester City, Leicester and Manchester United with just four wins in their opening eight games.
Get NOW TV Sky Sports season pass and save 25 percent
This article contains affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission on any sales of products or services we write about. This article was written completely independently, see more details here
Source: Read Full Article