Charlton manager Lee Bowyer thinks Unai Emery made a mistake spending big on Nicolas Pepe instead of strengthening Arsenal’s defence.
Given how awful Arsenal have been in defence for years, Bowyer makes a very valid point.
Pepe became a Gunner in the summer when Arsenal paid £72 million for his services. He left Ligue 1 outfit Lille behind after scoring 22 goals and providing 11 assists last season.
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Those figures brought reported interest from a number of Europe’s big clubs, including Manchester United.
I can now say I’m happy we didn’t sign Pepe in the summer.
Let’s just say he hasn’t been good since coming to the Premier League and already looks like a flop.
Bowyer thinks the money spent on Pepe would have been better going towards buying Harry Maguire, who signed for Man Utd to become the most expensive defender in the world following a £80m transfer from Leicester City.
“Defensively they are frail, they concede too many goals. Their centre-halves have been a problem for years,” said Bowyer on Sky Sports’ The Debate, as quoted by the Metro.
“It’s not just been this season, it’s been a while now, but they would rather spend £75m on a winger than a centre-back.
“Maguire would have been perfect for them, why didn’t they him?”
Maguire is settling in well at United but I feel he needs a better, more suited partner than Victor Lindelof. That may well be Axel Tuanzebe — time will tell — but Lindelof isn’t quick enough to partner the Englishman, who also lacks pace to deal with the quickest strikers in the Premier League.
Either way, Arsenal wouldn’t be able to compete with United, if the given player was a prime target at Old Trafford. We’re a bigger club with greater spending power.
Maguire would have choose United either way.