Ian Wright has lavished praise on Nicolas Pepe, who he claims is working harder following his red card against Leeds United earlier in the season.
The Ivorian was sent off against the Whites in the first clash between the two sides in what proved to be the club record signing’s most embarrassing moment in a Gunners shirt.
Speaking to Optus Sport’s The Weekend Review, the club legend suggested the ace has formed a surprise partnership with Cedric Soares down Arsenal’s right hand side.
Wright said: “Since the red card, he’s worked a lot harder. He’s got a lot more confidence, it is like the manager has said ‘get on the ball, and do your stuff’. He’s taking people on, working harder and then when he gets the ball, he’s being a lot more positive.”
“He seems to have a certain amount of confidence, which I didn’t see earlier in the season. His value is nothing to do with him, you use him how he wants to be used. Him and Cedric have got a really good thing going.”
It’s nice to know the £72m man is finally getting noticed after turning the corner in north London. Pepe’s revival is symptomatic of both his hard work and Mikel Arteta’s compassion towards his difficult situation following his sending off at Elland Road.
Following his debacle in the Premier League, Pepe, who has been labelled as a potential ‘major player‘, was thrown straight back into the firing line with a start against Molde in the Europa League. It seems as though the former Manchester City coach’s more loving management of the winger worked as he put in a sparkling display for which he was praised afterwards.
Arms around shoulders is clearly the way forward with the African star, who proves to be as much of a confidence player than any in the current Arsenal squad. His recent performances show he can be unstoppable if given the right treatment in would be a fruitful endeavour for the Gunners.