The international break has pros and cons, most of which we’re all pretty aware of having been football fans for a long time. While we worry about Arsenal players sustaining injuries that could seriously harm their season, there’s also another side of the coin. That side is that players from within the squad are capable of giving themselves a much needed confidence boost heading back into the domestic game.
In short, that’s exactly what happened as Ivory Coast star Nicolas Pepe was able to score for his nation en-route to their 3-1 triumph over DR Congo. The win took place in a friendly which isn’t going to mean a whole lot for their development, but in terms of what it could do for the confidence of Pepe, it could be invaluable.
The £70m+ star has had a decent enough start to life with Arsenal in the Premier League, but he hasn’t really had that breakout performance that has fans begging to see him feature week in and week out. It’s more about what he’s been doing to open up opportunities for others as opposed to taking them himself, and in many ways, there’s nothing wrong with that.
Alas, even with that being the case, we do tend to believe that it’s time for Pepe to make his presence felt from a goalscoring perspective for the Gunners. Aubameyang has been doing a phenomenal job of carrying the load up to this point but others need to start chipping in. That kind of team cohesion is going to open up a lot of doors for the club, especially when you consider just how efficient they are as an attacking threat already. There’s some serious potential within this squad, but more specifically, Pepe looks like an absolute world beater when he’s playing to his full potential.
Arsenal should be looking at securing an important win on Monday against Sheffield United, and we think that’s the kind of game that could see Pepe really start to turn some heads. If he can get into a real rhythm at a tough away ground, putting them to the sword in the process, then he’ll be well and truly off to the races. It may not seem like a big test at such an early point of the campaign, but we just want to see him live up to the hype.
Can Pepe carry this form back into his Arsenal career?