Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta told to drop Nicolas Pepe despite Everton showing

Arsenal should drop Nicolas Pepe for Gabriel Martinelli ahead of the second leg clash with Olympiakos in the Europa League.

That is the verdict from Sky Sports pundit and former Gunners star Charlie Nicholas.

The Gunners ran out 3-2 winners over Everton at the Emirates on Sunday.

In a rollercoaster of a match, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored a brace to see Mikel Arteta win back to back matches in the Premier League for the first time.

Pepe enjoyed a fine performance, setting up the Gabonese striker for his second of the match and the eventual winner.

But Nicholas reckons the Ivorian should be dropped for Martinelli.

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Looking ahead of Arsenal's tie with Olympiakos in the Europa League, he said: “I do not think this is a certain win [for Arsenal].

“Mikel Arteta will sit and read into the fact that they let in two against Everton. Bernd Leno gets Arsenal out of a lot of holes but he did slip up for the second goal.

“Joe Willock and Alexandre Lacazette will come in I think. You have to keep Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in for his goals.

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“Will Nicolas Pepe get another run? Probably. Does he deserve it? Probably not. I would probably look at Gabriel Martinelli.

“The game against Manchester City has been postponed as they are in the Carabao Cup final, which means Arsenal can go at it and get into the last 16.

“You can still see the mess at the back, but Arteta will change things again. Sokratis Papastathopoulos may come in, while Hector Bellerin may drop out.

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“You have to play Bukayo Saka at the back. This side has got its attacking side back and got its mojo back in that respect.”

Pepe has had a tough time this season but there are encouraging signs under Arteta, as with a nunber of players that have struggled this campaign.

As well as the Ivorian, Shkodran Mustafi, David Luiz and Granit Xhaka have seen an upturn in form.

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