Nacho Monreal has admitted he’s already been impressed with Nicolas Pepe in training, after the winger completed a club-record move to Arsenal this summer.
Pepe joined in a £72m deal from Ligue 1 side Lille in the summer, but so far he’s yet to take to the pitch in a match for Arsenal. The winger took part in the Africa Cup of Nations over the summer, so his extended holiday has prevented any pre-season participation.
As a result, we have to get our first impressions of the 24-year-old from those inside the club who have seen him in training. Nacho Monreal is one, and he’s been impressed so far.
“The club has done a good job bringing in Pepe,” Nacho Monreal said. “He has trained only a few days with us but from the first moment, you realised what kind of player he is. He is going to help us a lot. He is going to be very important for us.
“We are so lucky to have these players because we are talking about some of the best players in this moment. We need to enjoy having them, and we need to play for them because they make the difference.”
That’s a point of view you hope the rest of the squad share with Monreal. Arsenal have so much quality up front, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette and Nicolas Pepe, but that won’t matter if the players behind let them down.
The midfield need to be supplying those forwards with passes they can make something of, and the defence have to ensure they at least partly cut down on the number of goals they concede.
If they can do that, we’ll hopefully be able to enjoy Pepe adding a new dimension to the Arsenal attack very soon.