Tim Sherwood has slammed Arsenal’s recruitment policy with Nicolas Pepe finding himself in the firing line.
Mikel Arteta’s men were comfortably beaten by Jose Mourinho’s side thanks to first-half goals from Harry Kane and
Appearing on Optus Sport’s coverage of Tottenham Hotspur’s win over the Gunners, the former Spurs manager claimed that the Ivorian wasn’t needed at the club due to the revelation of Bukayo Saka.
Sherwood said: “It starts with the manager and the sporting director working hand in hand to try and recruit better players. They spent £72 million on Pepe, a record, when they had Saka, a better player than him, sitting in their academy. How can that be right?” (via Optus Sport)
Who was to blame for the loss to Tottenham?
The former Aston Villa has made quite a strange claim given how different the two players are. Whilst Saka may also be a winger, he can play a number of positions. Even with the emergence of the 19-year-old, there was still need for Arsenal to sign a right-winger and Pepe proved to be just the man given how well he performed for Lille in the season prior to his arrival.
Even during his short time in north London, the record signing and Saka have featured in the same side more often than not. The two men have played together in all but five Premier League outings as well as both EFL Cup games.
Furthermore, both players possess different traits that make them completely different players. Whilst the Ivory Coast international loves to take his man on and whip in a cross or have a shot, Saka is cuter on the ball and loves to retain possession and move the ball quick into teammates.
There’s a place for both players in the squad as well as the starting XI. How Sherwood has come to the conclusion the club wasted £72m by signing the £36m-rated winger is beyond me given how different their roles in the team has been this season.