Lille sporting director Luis Campos has revealed how the winger watches his own performances two times over after a game as he aims to improve
Lille sporting director Luis Campos has likened Nicolas Pepe to Cristiano Ronaldo and Kylian Mbappe after revealing the Arsenal winger is constantly taking measures to improve his game and make himself “more perfect”.
The Ivory Coast international forward traded the Ligue 1 side for the Emirates Stadium in the summer for a club-record €79m (£72m/$87m) fee, having scored 22 times in France’s top-flight last season.
Pepe has not made an express start in England, however, netting only once in his Premier League career to date and picking up a couple of assists.
That has led to some pundits questioning whether the 24-year-old was worth the money that the Gunners paid for the versatile attacker, but Campos has suggested that Pepe’s desire to constantly get better will stand him in good stead.
“In my opinion one of the characteristics of a top, top player is that they like football,” Campos told Sky Sports .
“I remember working with Cristiano Ronaldo and Kylian Mbappe: they know everything about football. Mbappe knew all the results of the second division in France.
“Nicolas Pepe is like that. He’s another example of the importance of a player liking football.
“After a game he watches the whole game again two times, to make himself more perfect.”
Arsene Wenger, the former Gunners boss, is another who has defended the performances of Pepe in the past , explaining to Omnisport : “I like the player and I thought it was a good decision [to sign him].
“He’s not yet completely adapted and you have to give him some time.
“He looks a little bit to be playing not with the freedom he did in France at the moment.
“I see some characteristics of his game, especially off the ball, that don’t happen at the moment.”
With Arsenal bursting at the seams with promising young wide talent, including Reiss Nelson and Bukayo Saka, the pressure is on Pepe to start delivering his best level soon, or else he could find it difficult to defend a regular place in the starting XI.
The former Angers attacker is currently on international duty, with his Ivory Coast side playing DR Congo in a friendly on Sunday.