Nicolas Pepe has made it into the UEFA Europa League Squad of the Season for 2020/21, after a strong individual European campaign.

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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)

The UEFA Europa League announced their Squad of the Season on Saturday, with UEFA Technical Observers selecting their 23-man squad for the campaign. Arsenal managed just one entrant, Nicolas Pepe.

There’s no doubt that Pepe deserved to feature. The winger began with a strong group stage, scoring three goals and assisting three in his six appearances, but he was also impressive in the knockout stages, with another three goals and one assist between the quarter-final and semi-final stages.

Pepe’s away goal in Spain was ultimately the only one Arsenal scored against Villarreal.

It feels a little harsh to exclude Bukayo Saka, who was also excellent in the knockout stages. The youngster scored twice and assisted three goals as well as winning a penalty, from the round-of-32 onwards.

But Saka only made brief appearances in the group stage, and perhaps that counted against him.

Congratulations to Pepe on his inclusion, if he can transfer some more of those goals and assists to the Premier League next season then you’d hope European football would be back on the cards in 2022.