Kevin Campbell told the Highbury Squad Podcast that Nicolas Pepe’s turn in form for Arsenal is down to him doing ‘extra’ work in training.
The 25-year-old was one of the standout performers during the last few months of the season, as Arsenal fans will be asking where that form was for most of the campaign, as they ended the 2020/21 season without any European football.
This was Pepe’s second season in England’s top-flight, and after his questionable debut campaign, the pressure was on the Arsenal speedster’s shoulders.
And whilst he took time to add consistency to his game, Campbell now thinks Arsenal are seeing the best of their left-footed trickster.
“People carry on that he never actually played (before),” said Campbell. “He did play but he wasn’t at the races.
“Until he got it in his head that I am going to do the extra on the training pitch. Once he got that in his head, everything started to change and things started to click for him.
“He started to score more goals and look more dangerous. He could be that guy in the Europa, but he wasn’t that guy in the Premier League.
“Then all of a sudden, he puts extra work in, he gets luckier, starts getting smarter, he starts understanding the game a lot better and now when you look at it we didn’t want the season to finish.”
The key for Pepe now is that he has to start the new Premier League season in August, just like he ended it recently.
If he doesn’t then the knives will be out and Arsenal supporters will be questioning whether the big money spent on his talents was worth it.
In truth, the Arsenal players need to get off to a strong start as a whole because if they don’t then a certain Mikel Arteta might just lose his job.