Arsenal legend Ian Wright has made a bold prediction about what the supporters will tell our central midfielders when they are allowed back inside the Emirates.
The legendary Gunners striker was over the moon after our brilliant win against Leicester City last weekend. Wright was full of praise for a number of players, but the one Arsenal star he seemed most impressed by was Nicolas Pepe.
The Ivorian has been playing really well over the last two months. He has looked a different player ever since he got that silly red card at Leeds United, and his hard work finally seems to be paying off.
Wright now believes that Pepe can take three or four players on and make something happen in the final third.
He has predicted that once Arsenal fans are back at the Emirates, they will tell our central midfielders – most likely to be Granit Xhaka and Thomas Partey – to pass the ball to Pepe immediately.
He said on the Wrighty’s House podcast: “You can see now people are saying, give it to Pepe. Give it to Pepe!
“If we were in the Emirates now, the way Pepe is playing, as soon as someone gets (the ball) in and around the midfield, you say ‘give it to Pepe’. He’s 20 yards further up the pitch, give it to him. It feels like he can take three or four players on, let him do it.
“If it’s not happening with Pepe, give to Odegaard, give it Saka, give it to Emile Smith Rowe to progress the ball. We’ve got options now man.”
Arsenal Insider’s view:
Pepe deserves all the praise he’s getting now.
The Ivorian has constantly been criticised for not living up to his mammoth price-tag. It’s not his fault that Arsenal agreed to pay a club-record fee for him, but the media and the pundits didn’t care, and they put all the pressure on him.
He has worked incredibly hard to get back on Mikel Arteta’s good side after getting that silly red card. It is amazing to see that the things he’s doing are finally coming off, and we can only hope that he carries on and becomes even better in the coming weeks and months.