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Tony Adams says Emery-signing could become 'exceptional' for Arsenal next season

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Arsenal legend Tony Adams spoke to Stadium Astro after the Gunners beat Leicester City in the Premier League on Sunday.

Mikel Arteta’s men conceded early but came from behind to win 3-1. Surprisingly, it was Arsenal’s right side that was a big threat yesterday and Nicolas Pepe had a fantastic game.

My Revenge On Ben Foster

The Ivorian was voted as the man of the match by Arsenal fans on Twitter and rightly so. He scored our third goal, played a key part in winning the penalty and more surprisingly, he has made Adams admit that he was wrong about him.

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The legendary Gunners defender said: “I have been critical. Why did we need this player in the first place? Massive price-tag. £72 million and Saka, when we have got good kids coming through. But hopefully, he has put my criticism to bed.

“He has put a performance in, and that’s what he needs to give himself a little bit of spark. The longer it goes in the Europa League, he is going to get more opportunities to play, gain that confidence and, who knows, next season he could be an exceptional player for us.”

Arsenal Insider’s view:

There is absolutely no doubt about the fact that Pepe’s mammoth price-tag put enormous pressure on his shoulders. Unai Emery’s Arsenal paid a club-record £72 million (BBC) for him at the start of last season, and it is safe to say that he hasn’t set the stage on fire.

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Settling into a new league is never easy for a player, especially when there are massive expectations of him. Pepe, predictably, struggled, but he is slowly proving a lot of people wrong – fans, pundits and mainly the media who have been extremely critical of him.

His 52nd-minute strike last night means that he has scored eight goals and has provided three assists in all competitions so far this season. He has been directly involved in 29 goals in 44 starts for us – not too bad for a flop, isn’t it?

If he can keep performing as well as he has, he will become a regular. There is absolutely no reason why he can’t become one of the best players in the league like he was in France before his move.

Next season will be big for Pepe and hopefully, he can prove all his doubters wrong.

Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

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