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'Back him up': Ian Wright offers selection advice to Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta

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Arsenal legend Ian Wright spoke on Optus Sport after his former side comfortably dispatched Leicester City on Sunday.

Goals from David Luiz, Alexandre Lacazette and Nicolas Pepe gave Arsenal all three points, and the latter was voted by fans as the ‘man of the match’ after what was a truly excellent performance against a very good Foxes side.

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Pepe has had his ups and downs in his Arsenal career so far. He struggled to adapt to new surroundings, got himself a silly red card and was pushed away from the league side. However, he kept his head down, worked hard and is now reaping the rewards whenever he gets a chance.

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Wright believes that playing Cedric and Pepe on the right side is working really well. He has urged Arteta to back the Ivorian by pairing him up with the former Southampton man – which is exactly what we urged the Arsenal boss to do earlier this week. (Read here)

The former Arsenal striker said: “Since the red card, he’s worked a lot harder. He’s got a lot more confidence, it is like the manager has said ‘get on the ball, and do your stuff’.

“He’s taking people on, working harder and then when he gets the ball, he’s being a lot more positive. He seems to have a certain amount of confidence, which I didn’t see earlier in the season. His value is nothing to do with him, you use him how he wants to be used.

“Him and Cedric have got a really good thing going, back him up.”

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Arsenal Insider’s view:

Wrighty is spot on here.

Cedric’s movement around Pepe gives the Ivorian a lot of space to work with. He showed how well he can exploit that on Sunday and whenever he starts for us, he should have a right-back who is willing to overlap or come inside of him constantly.

This isn’t to say that Hector Bellerin can’t do what Cedric did against Leicester. The Spaniard can do the same and more, but for some reason, he has been very hesitant in recent games to be more adventurous in the final third.

Arteta must stick with Cedric for the upcoming games. The Portuguese international has done enough to keep his place, but Bellerin has shown in the past that he can bounce back – so, don’t write him off just yet.

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