Former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has said that Nicolas Pepe needs to work on his off-the-ball ability or else he could drop down the selection order under Unai Emery.
The Ivorian joined the Gunners in a club-record deal from Lille amid much fanfare but he has yet to prove himself with the performances on the playing field.
In terms of the Premier League, Pepe has bagged two assists and the solitary goal but the latter resulted from a penalty which was offered to him by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Pepe has himself acknowledged that he is low on confidence at the moment and Wenger believes the winger is struggling to play with the same amount of freedom from his time in Ligue 1.
He added that the forward has barely impressed with his off-the-ball ability and that is something he needs to improve upon before the competition gets tougher for a starting spot.
“He looks a little bit to be playing not with the freedom he did in France at the moment. I see some characteristics of his game, especially off the ball, that don’t happen at the moment,” he said.
Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli and Reiss Nelson has impressed for the Gunners this term and the former has commanded a regular role over the past month.
That won’t be the case when Alexandre Lacazette returns from injury and Pepe still needs to find his act, considering Emery may not stick with him for much longer, if he struggles to make the difference.