Last Thursday, Arsenal’s Nicolas Pepe seemed to kickstart his loan spell at OGC Nice with a strong performance in the Europa Conference League, scoring once and hitting the woodwork twice in a strong display.
The winger then followed that up with an excellent performance against Troyes on Sunday, winning a penalty with a nice piece of skill in the first half before scoring in the second.
L’Equipe were certainly impressed, writing in their print edition on Monday that Pepe delivered “his best match since his arrival in Nice”.
L’Equipe claim we got to see the Pepe “who shone in Lille, not the disappointing forward at Arsenal”.
“Oh yes, this is his best match,” Nice boss Lucien Favre said afterwards. “I was happy to see him dribble, to see him come back on his left foot. He had chances on top of that.”
“He is growing,” Nice captain Dante added. “I am someone who is very demanding with myself and I will be with him too, because he has a lot of talent.
“I hope he will not start to be satisfied with his performances, even if they are very good.”
You can watch the highlights of the game here, with Pepe’s penalty win at 1:02 and his goal at 1:51.
Arsenal fans will obviously hope this is a sign of things to come, and Pepe can rack up the goals, assists, and penalties over the coming months to make a real impression in Ligue 1 and enhance his reputation before next summer.
Whether Pepe has a future at Arsenal or he needs to be sold to the highest bidder, a strong season on loan suits everyone.