Atletico Madrid scout Eric Olhats wishes the club had managed to close a deal for Arsenal winger Nicolas Pepe before he joined the Gunners this summer.

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 24: Nicolas Pepe of Arsenal looks on after the final whistle during the UEFA Europa League group F match between Arsenal FC and Vitoria Guimaraes at Emirates Stadium on October 24, 2019, in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 24: Nicolas Pepe of Arsenal looks on after the final whistle during the UEFA Europa League group F match between Arsenal FC and Vitoria Guimaraes at Emirates Stadium on October 24, 2019, in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)

Eric Olhats was speaking to RMC on Le Vestiaire this week, and he named a couple of players he wished Atletico Madrid had signed after following them both in the past.

“There are always players that you get a soft spot for,” Olhats said (via GFFN). “Last year, we were looking at (Nicolas) Pépé, I would’ve really liked us to bring him in. (Ramy) Bensebaini as well (Ex-Rennes and Algerian left-sided defender now at Gladbach).

“Yes (I put these names to the Atletico board), but you know how it is, for each position, there are three, or four or five names. And I am not the one who decides.”

Pepe hasn’t exactly exploded into life with Arsenal just yet. The winger has three goals and four assists, but he’s dropped out of the Premier League starting lineup since the start of November.

There’s no panic just yet, given it often takes some time for players to adapt to English football. All the same, the critics have still been out in force, causing doubts in the minds of Arsenal fans.

Based on Olhats comments, there’s clearly a belief among those who are paid to spot talent that Pepe is going to come good. That should be encouraging to the supporters who are yet to take to the 24-year-old.

First things first, Pepe has to actually come back into the team. We’re predicting him to get a start against Brighton on Thursday, and you can check out our full lineup here.

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Arsenal fan since a young age, now a season ticket holder who enjoys writing, tweeting and making videos about the Gunners.