i think Pepe will learn a lot from Willian, and how to collect the ball from deep and drive it to the half way line and carry on his run. His potential in my opinion surpasses what Willian was in his prime, and i think once we have a more fluid back line and midfield Pepe will thrive. One thing i did notice, there weren’t enough numbers in the box and like last year Pepe is just being hounded by 3 or 4 players and can’t move, brings it back to the fluidity and releasing the ball to him faster before oppositions can get back and stabilise. I don’t think Rob is cut out for the team, i think he has some very good qualities and is a tough strong defender but he lacks the confidence to attempt line break passes to Pepe or the quality to set Pepe free, something we saw Luiz and even Kola do to an extent for Reiss.
Adding on, I think Ainsley could have tried to do more, for someone who’s adamant on being a midfielder he lacked a lot of confidence in his forward passes and would far more often than not take the easy pass and when he did risk it, he choked it which is the confidence factor. That couple with Joe on the right midfield, Pepe was never going to have a good game. Definitely the weaker side by some margin. i’d like to see how Pepe does when he’s not required to fetch the ball from deep, and if Willian could fill a more central attacking role and willian fetches the ball and feeds auba/pepe on the wings and lacazette uses his movement to give them more space. I think that’s when we’ll see Pepe thrive, if not then I really don’t know and think he may just not be cut out for the leagues. Has the qualities and technique to be a fantastic footballer he’s just struggling for space and time right now