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Paul Merson: 'Nicolas Pepe out of his depth at Arsenal'

Merson: 'Pepe out of his depth at Arsenal'
© Reuters
Former Arsenal player Paul Merson believes that Nicolas Pepe's £72m price tag is weighing too heavily on his shoulders following a below-par start to the season.

Former Arsenal midfielder Paul Merson does not know what Nicolas Pepe brings to the table at the Emirates Stadium.

The 25-year-old recently hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons after he received a straight red card at Leeds United for headbutting Ezgjan Alioski, although Pepe redeemed himself with an impressive performance and a goal in the Europa League against Molde.

However, Merson believes that Pepe, who is currently serving a three-game ban in the Premier League, is not justifying his £72m price tag and is out of his depth at the club.

Speaking to the Daily Star, Merson said: "Nicolas Pepe looks out of his depth and he's going to have to do it against much better teams than Molde to change my opinion.

"I can understand how he got sent off in the Leeds game. He's been having a nightmare ever since he joined Arsenal and one Europa League goal in Norway won't change that.

"He let his frustration get the better of him against Leeds and did something silly with the headbutt, because things haven't been going well for him at Arsenal for months.

"He came in for £70-odd million. If they'd bought him for £20m nobody would be moaning. But the fee brings pressure, and he's not been able to handle it.

"I watch him play and I don't know what he brings to the table. But it's not his fault Arsenal are struggling."

Pepe boasts four goals and two assists in the current campaign across all competitions, but the Ivory Coast international will miss next month's North London derby as well as Sunday's clash with Wolverhampton Wanderers.

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Arsenal's Nicolas Pepe is sent off during his side's match against Leeds United on November 22, 2020
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