Nicolas Pepe is WhoScored’s Europa League player of the group stage, finishing with a significantly higher rating than anyone else.

Arsenal’s French-born Ivorian midfielder Nicolas Pepe runs with the ball during the UEFA Europa League 1st Round Group B football match between Arsenal and Rapid Vienna at the Emirates Stadium in London on December 3, 2020. (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images)

WhoScored posted on Friday morning that Nicolas Pepe was their Europa League player of the group stage. The winger earned an average rating of 8.53, scoring three goals and assisting a further three in his six appearances.

Pepe created 20 chances in the group stage, more than three per game. Only two other players in the whole competition made more. He was also top-three for shots and assists, as well as sixth for dribbles completed – with 19.

The rest of the top-rated players were some way behind. Yusuf Yazici of LOSC Lille was the closest with 8.04, and no one else even made it to 8.00.

Joe Willock arguably deserved a better rating, after scoring three and assisting three himself. But his six-minute appearance against Rapid Vienna in the opening group game dragged his average rating down.

Willock still made the top-20, but he would’ve featured in the top-five based on the other four appearances he made.

Regardless, it’s good to see Pepe topping the list, particularly given he played half the group stage after that disappointing red card against Leeds United. His response to that setback has been very positive so far.