Updated: Mar 4, 2021
• Gunners legend Wright feels the Ivorian has upped his game.
• Pepe was instrumental in Arsenal's 3-1 win over Leicester on Saturday.
Ian Wright has heaped praise on Nicolas Pepe at Arsenal, adding that the Ivory Coast international has rejuvenated his displays recently.
Pepe, who moved to the Emirates from Lille back in 2019 for £72m, has been one of Arsenal's top performers over the last month and was impressive in their 3-1 win over Leicester City at the King Power Stadium over the weekend.
However, Wright couldn’t help but sing the winger’s praise after his performances in his last seven appearances saw him score three goals.
“Since the red card, he’s worked a lot harder," Wright told Optus Sport. "He’s got a lot more confidence, it is like the manager has said ‘get on the ball, and do your stuff’.
"He’s taking people on, working harder, and then when he gets the ball, he’s being a lot more positive.
"He seems to have a certain amount of confidence, which I didn’t see earlier in the season. His value is nothing to do with him, you use him how he wants to be used. He and Cedric have got a really good thing going, back him up."
Wright's former Arsenal teammate and captain Tony Adams admitted Pepe has proved him wrong.
“I have been critical. Why did we need this player in the first place? Massive price-tag. £72 million and Saka, when we have got good kids coming through," Adams told Stadium Astro.
“But hopefully he has put my criticism to bed, you know. He has put a performance in, and that's what he needs to give himself a little bit of spark.
"The longer it goes in the Europa League, he is going to get more opportunities to play, gain that confidence, and, who knows, next season he could be an exceptional player for us."