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'Great player with big resources': Marcelo Bielsa raves about Arsenal star

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Leeds United boss Marcelo Bielsa spoke to Leeds Live about Nicolas Pepe and why he deserves to be at Arsenal.

The Gunners forked out £72 million for the Ivorian in the summer and he has shown his quality in flashes. Adjusting to a new country is never easy and Pepe is likely to come good with regular game time.

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Marcelo Bielsa knows Pepe very well having managed him at Lille a few years ago. The Argentine will make it difficult for Arsenal in the FA Cup on Monday but he is wary about Pepe who is more than capable of causing his side a few problems.

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He said: “Pepe is a great player with big resources and is a goalscorer. And he’s a player who is able to unbalance a match. Obvious skills, when you have all of these skills in one player, the value is £70m. It’s just a matter of time and after, show those skills.”

Bielsa continued: “He has shown them clearly and after the price was linked to what he has shown on the pitch. One thing is when one player has the skills, another is to have the skills and show the skills on the pitch. He does both. He has clearly shown his skills and is at a club where he deserves to be.”

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Pepe to haunt his former boss?

Pepe scored 23 goals and provided 13 assists for Lille in all competitions last season. The Ivorian has five goals and four assists for Arsenal so far and after his performance against Manchester United last week, it is likely that he will add a few more soon.

It is unlikely that Pepe will start against Leeds considering he started on New Year’s Day. However, if the need arises, he might be used off the bench to help Arsenal knock Bielsa’s Leeds out of the competition.

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