Arsenal are in a crisis as they need a striker who can lead the lines for them this season. The Gunners lost Pierre Emerick Aubameyang after the Gabonese striker’s loan move to Barcelona failed, Arsenal released him to join the Catalans for free.
Now with Aubameyang gone, Arsenal do not have many options up front. There in the Gabonese forward’s absence former Arsenal legend, Ian Wright feels Mikel Arteta should try out Nicolas Pepe and use him as a false nine to solve out the issues upfront at least temporarily for this season.
Aubameyang’s deadline day move to FC Barcelona gave the Gunners no chance to replace the forward with someone else. Especially after their pursuit for Dusan Vlahovic failed as the former Fiorentina man joined Juventus in the January transfer window.
However, speaking about the crisis upfront Ian Wright shared his thoughts while speaking on the Ringer Podcast.
“Play him (Nicolas Pepe) as a false nine, play him in a role where he’s free and he can run at people. It seems to me that Mikel is doing something where he has to take a chance on that. ”
Wright believes that the main goalscorers for the team will be the likes of Emile Smith Rowe, Gabriel Martinelli, Bukayo Sakar and others. Therefore he feels that the team needs someone who can be a handful for the opposition defenders and also take half chances.
“Because I’m feeling that the goals are going to come from Emile Smith Rowe, Saka and hopefully Martinelli, and I’m not saying that any of them are proven like Aubameyang was, but we’re talking about someone who can frighten defenders and he can take half chances, we’ve seen that,” Wright explained.
Nicolas Pepe failed to live upto the hype that brought him to the Premier League from LOSC Lille. He was scoring goals in plenty in Ligue 1 but never looked comfortable in his stay at the Emirates. Therefore one can easily say that Arsenal’s £72 million move for the Lille star has massively backfired.
But recently Pepe delivered some great performances for his national team, Ivory Coast at the Africa Cup of Nations. The winger has scored three goals in four games and therefore the possibility of getting back into the starting lineup has increased considerably.