Rio Ferdinand explains why Nicolas Pepe has gone backwards since joining Arsenal

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Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand has spoken out on Nicolas Pepe’s struggles at Arsenal.

The Ivory Coast international looked a world class player during his time at previous club Lille, but he’s been incredibly slow to get going at the Emirates Stadium since his move last season.

MORE: Photo: Nicolas Pepe takes to social media to apologise for letting Arsenal down

It remains to be seen if we’ll ever see the best of Pepe in an Arsenal shirt, with the player once again letting the club down in a big way as he got himself sent off in the 0-0 draw with Leeds United at the weekend.

Ferdinand has been heavily critical of Pepe for his antics, and says the 25-year-old seems to be clearly struggling due to the expectation that has come with his big price tag.

Pepe cost Arsenal a club-record £72million, according to BBC Sport‘s report at the time, and Ferdinand seems to think that is the key reason for his major drop-off in form in north London.

“Nicolas Pepe let you down, I don’t understand it. You’re a player who said before the international break that he wants to get back into the team, that he needs his chance and he’s not happy,” Ferdinand said on his YouTube channel.

“You get given your opportunity and you do something so ridiculously stupid and get sent off. It doesn’t make sense. You let your team-mates down and yourself down.

“I want to see Pepe do well. I saw him at Lille, beautiful footballer with skills. He needs to do it at Arsenal.

“The big fee brings pressure and he’s not dealing with it right now.”