Thierry Henry says it’s natural for players bought for big fees to invite a lot of pressure on themselves, but people need to forget about Nicolas Pépé’s price tag and give him time.
A few months into his Arsenal career, Nicolas Pépé has shown glimpses of what he’s capable of, without really being able to make an impression in the Premier League so far.
The winger has three goals and four assists in all competitions from nine starts and six substitute appearances, but his only league goal came from a penalty against Aston Villa in mid-September.
Thierry Henry knows what it’s like to have to adapt to the Premier League in North London, and he spoke to Yahoo Sports about Pépé’s transfer.
“When you arrive like that, you’re always going to be talked about, and people are always going to target you,” said Henry. “He needs to make sure he doesn’t listen to that and go out and perform.
“People need to forget about the price tag. He didn’t ask to be bought for that amount of money himself.
“It’s not always easy to arrive in a team, adapt to a new style of play. The Premier League, as we know, is not the same as the French League or any other league, by the way. So he needs to adapt to that. We need to give him time.”
Pépé has had a particular mixed time over the last few weeks. He scored twice against Vitoria to complete a comeback win, then was heavily involved in two more goals against Crystal Palace that weekend.
However, Unai Emery dropped him out of the side for the subsequent match against Wolves, and an assist in the following midweek game against Vitoria still wasn’t enough to get him back into the lineup against Leicester City.
It would be great if the winger could get a goal or two with Ivory Coast over the international break to prove he’s on form and get back into the Arsenal starting lineup in league games again.