Robin van Persie has urged Nicolas Pepe to step up his efforts to score more goals after Arsenal’s win over Manchester United on New Year’s Day. Pepe scored the opening goal before Sokratis doubled the Gunners’ lead to secure a 2-0 victory and a first win for Mikel Arteta. Since joining for £72 million in the summer, Pepe has struggled to make an impact at Arsenal. But the 24-year-old delivered an encouraging display up against Luke Shaw and provided a constant threat on Arsenal’s right flank. And Van Persie has urged the winger to improve his movement in front of goal when balls are delivered from the left wing.
With Pepe I do believe that today he played really well but he can go one level up,’ Van Persie told BT Sport. ‘If he makes those runs in the final third. ‘Because now with crosses from the other [left] side, he’s still enjoying the moment, he’s still watching the game.
Rio Ferdinand also believes Mikel Arteta could play a key role in Pepe’s development following the Spaniard’s work with wingers at Manchester City. ‘Massive signing, hasn’t produced, today he looked like a new player,’ Ferdinand said. ‘That comes from confidence from a manager, showing belief. ‘He’s young, it’s youth, and I think he’s got time to work. ‘It’s been well documented how much influence Arteta had the likes of Leroy Sane and Raheem Sterling [at Manchester City], young wingers, Pepe falls into that category, can he improve?’