Leeds United boss Marcelo Bielsa has already given his verdict on Arsenal winger Nicolas Pepe, ahead of the two sides meeting after the international break.
The Gunners will make the trip to Elland Road on Sunday, November 22, for both of the sides’ first game back after the two-week interval.
It turns out that Bielsa has already offered his opinion on one of Mikel Arteta ‘s key attackers – and he did so at the start of this year.
The Argentine manager signed Pepe for Lille, bringing him to the club after an impressive season at Angers.
The Whites boss was able to see the now-25-year-old’s potential and gave him a bigger stage to demonstrate it on.
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That of course led to a £72m-move to Arsenal in the summer of 2019, which is still a club-record fee at the Emirates Stadium.
By that time, Bielsa was in England and preparing Leeds to achieve promotion back to the Premier League.
When speaking about Pepe in January 2020, days before Arsenal’s 1-0 FA Cup victory over Leeds, Bielsa said (via Goal): “Pepe is a great player with big talent and is a goalscorer. And he’s a player who is able to unbalance a match.
“Obvious skills, then you have all of these skills in one player, the value is £72m. It’s just a matter of time and after that he will show those skills.
“He has showed them clearly and after that the price is linked to what he has shown on the pitch.
“One thing is to have the skills, another is to have the skills and show it on the pitch. He does both.
“He has clearly shown his skills and is at a club he deserves to be at.”
Since arriving at Arsenal in 2019, Pepe has shown glimpses of his undeniable talent, but has sometimes found himself quiet in games.
He scored eight goals in his debut season for the Gunners, and has already contributed with three so…