Arsenal ‘flop’ Nicolas Pepe is being played out of position, says Stewart Robson

Nicolas Pepe of Arsenal FC
Pepe has struggled for form in his first season at Arsenal (Picture: Getty Images)

Former Arsenal midfielder Stewart Robson has suggested the Gunners’ record signing Nicolas Pepe isn’t being utilised correctly and has been a ‘flop’ this season.

The 24-year-old has struggled for consistency since making the £72million switch from Lille last summer, scoring just six goals in 32 appearances in all competitions.

Pepe often started wide but would drift into the No.9 position in Ligue 1 last season, where he scored 22 league goals, and ex-Gunners midfielder Robson thinks a change of role could benefit the Ivory Coast international in the Premier League.

He told ESPN FC: ‘Slightly too early [to call him a flop]. He hasn’t been a great success this season so far.

‘He’s had one or two good games, couple of good free-kicks. I’m not sure they’ve found the right position for him.

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Mikel Arteta, Manager of Arsenal
Robson backs Arteta to get the best out of Pepe (Picture: Getty Images)

‘They’ve tried him on the right wing where he spent most of his time in France. Then they tried to play him upfront for a couple of games.

‘Yet he’s got pace, he can do lots of things. At the moment they haven’t got the best out of him, he doesn’t look a confident player.

‘So he’s a flop at the moment but I think he can get better next year under [Mikel] Arteta.’

Despite his inconsistency, Pepe has been backed by former Arsenal winger Andrey Arshavin to become one of the ‘biggest stars’ in the English top-flight.

He said: ‘Pepe is a very talented player. He is very quick and a good finisher.

‘Already he has done well in part. Maybe not as much as he could but I see the potential and he will become one of the biggest stars in the Premier League. He will be huge.’

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