Tony Adams explains why he was ‘very against’ Arsenal signing Nicolas Pepe

Pepe has a way to go at Arsenal
Pepe is still adapting to the Premier League (Picture: Getty Images)

Tony Adams says the £72 million Arsenal splurged on record signing Nicolas Pepe should have been spent in different areas as the Gunners already have plenty of young attacking talent in their ranks.

The 25-year-old has struggled for consistency since making the mega-money switch from Lille to the Emirates last summer.

Despite promising flashes, Pepe is yet to fully acclimatise to the pace of the Premier League and the intense style of football Mikel Arteta demands from his side.

And Gunners legend Adams feels that with the emergence of the north London club’s bright youngsters, that money could have been used to strengthen other positions.

Adams told Stadium Astro: ‘I was very against Pepe to be honest with you because we had [Bukayo] Saka coming through, we’ve got Eddie [Nketiah], Reiss Nelson, [Gabriel] Martinelli.

‘We’ve got a lot of kids that need to play and to go and buy [Pepe for] £72m, I thought it could have been used in different areas.’

Arteta has the tough job on his hands of sorting out the futures of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Mesut Ozil, whose contracts are both due to expire next summer.

The Spaniard has made it clear he wants to keep top scorer Aubameyang at the club, while he has frozen Ozil out of the squad, with the German yet to feature since the restart.

And Adams highlights the need for Arteta to have a solid working relationship with club technical director Edu to resolve the issues at hand.

He added: ‘There’s a hell of a relationship that needs to go on between the sports director – who incidentally has got no experience of building European club squads – and the coach. 

‘There’s got to be a balance, the coach has got to say him, ‘I’m not going to use [Mesut] Ozil, there you go, get rid of him for us. 

‘And then you cut your losses and say, ‘Ok what are you going to use? Do you need a central defender? What do you need Arteta?’

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