Mikel Arteta proven right about Arsenal star Nicolas Pepe after Europa League recognition


Mikel Arteta has been vindicated in his praise of Arsenal winger Nicolas Pepe with the Ivorian having been named in the UEFA Europa League squad of the season for 2020/21.

Comprised of 23 players to have taken to the pitch in UEFA’s second tier competition this campaign, the Gunners attacker has been included amongst those.

The players themselves have been selected by a panel of UEFA’s technical observers, with Pepe being the only Arsenal star to have been picked.

It is no surprise though, considering the former Lille man’s form in the competition and in general for the Gunners throughout the season.


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In 13 appearances in the Europa League this season, Pepe scored on six occasions and notched a further four assists as Arteta’s men reached the semi-finals.

Despite accusations having been sent his way that he has still not yet lived up to the considerable price tag that brought him to the Emirates Stadium in 2019, Arteta has still been full of praise for Pepe.

He said: “I think he’s come a long way in the last few months.

“His work ethic has been phenomenal and he’s deciding many more games and doing what he can do in the final third in a much more consistent way.

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“Confidence in every player is crucial and every time you step on that field, if they feel secure, if they feel protected, if they feel like they’re supported by their manager and their team-mates, it is something that is crucial to be able to perform.

“Then with the things that he could do better, he’s doing much better with as well. But it’s all a mix that is reflected in his performance.”

So, with Pepe’s inclusion and his numbers far improved upon his debut campaign in North London, Arteta was certainly right to praise the winger.





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