“Lack of quality” – Roy Keane blasts Arsenal star following poor display vs Man Utd
Sky Sports pundit Roy Keane blasted Nicolas Pepe for his poor display during Arsenal’s 1-1 draw with Manchester United at Old Trafford on Monday.
Sky Sports pundit Roy Keane blasted Nicolas Pepe for his poor display during Arsenal’s 1-1 draw with Manchester United at Old Trafford on Monday night.
Pepe became one of the hottest talents in European football following an impressive spell at Lille and Arsenal looked to have pulled off a major coup when they won the race for his signature in the summer.
The Gunners splashed out a club record £72m to sign the Ivory Coast international as Unai Emery looked to add a winger to his ranks and Arsenal fans were excited by the prospect of Pepe linking up with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette this season.
However, the 24-year-old has failed to justify his huge price-tag so far with the attacker struggling to make any meaningful impact in games and he had another disappointing night against Manchester United before being subbed off in the second half.
His performance didn’t go down well with Keane as the former Man Utd captain laid into Pepe after the match last night, criticising the Arsenal man’s work rate, quality, end product and body language.
Speaking on Sky Sports after the game, Keane is quoted by the Mirror as saying:
“Disappointed really with him, since he’s come to the club he’s not had great body language. We make excuses for players a lot, it takes time to settle into a club.
“But you see this young kid tonight [Saka], Pepe compared to him for the money they paid he needs to do a lot more. His work rate, his lack of quality, end product, but again it’s his body language. He didn’t put up a fight tonight.”
Pepe is clearly struggling to adapt to the Premier League but many players need time to settle when they arrive in English football so no doubt Arsenal will give the Ivorian winger every opportunity to adjust following his big-money move.
Arsenal greats such as Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp and Robert Pires all endured difficult starts to life in England so the Gunners will be hoping Pepe can follow in their foot-steps once he’s adjusted to the rigours of Premier League football.