Ray Parlour offers tactical advice to Arsenal record signing Nicolas Pepe


Pepe has shone in the Europa League (Picture: Getty Images)

Ray Parlour wants to see Nicolas Pepe running at defenders and believes Arsenal’s £72million record signing too often ‘takes the easy option’ against tougher opposition.

The Ivory Coast international got sent off for headbutting Leeds United defender Ezgjan Alioski in last weekend’s goalless draw at Elland Road.

However, Pepe got an instant shot at redemption in the Europa League and repaid Mikel Arteta’s show of faith in him with the opening goal in Thursday’s 3-0 win over Molde.

The Ivory Coast international was sent off in the Leeds draw (Picture: Getty Images)

The 25-year-old has sparkled in Europe for the Gunners, but it is domestically where he has struggled.

And Parlour instructed Pepe to use his pace and skill to take on defenders and challenged the winger to step up his performances in the Premier League.

‘He has shown it in patches,’ Parlour told talkSPORT.

‘He was much better [against Molde], I must admit. He’s better when he runs at players, commits players.

‘He takes the easy option usually in the Premier League. He needs to run at full-backs, make them commit.

‘He’s good when he gets on his left foot, he has a good strike on him and you can see him taking corners. The reason he plays on the right is so he can cut inside and shoot with his left foot.

‘We always had left wingers who were right-footed, we had Pires, we had Overmars who would cut in and get 20 goals a season.

‘It’s alright doing it against Molde, against the smaller sides, you have to do it against the big sides. He has to make that impact against the Leeds Uniteds and the teams in the Premier League.

‘He has shown glimpses he can do it in the Premier League, but he hasn’t done it on a regular basis.

‘Again, when you go back to consistency, you have to do it week in, week out. You need to be a seven or eight out of 10 week in, week out and that’s where you are going to be a real success at your club.’


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