Patrice Evra defends Arsenal signing Nicolas Pepe with Manchester United comparison

Manchester Evening News Sports 1 month ago

Patrice Evra has opened up on what Sir Alex Ferguson said to him after a poor start to his Manchester United career, and compared it with the situation of Arsenal summer signing Nicolas Pepe.

The former United defender was in the Monday Night Football studio on Sunday evening for the clash between Sheffield United and Arsenal and he naturally discussed his career at Old Trafford.

Evra was asked to provide his view on the form of Pepe, with the £72m summer signing struggling so far this season since he switched to the Gunners.

The ex-France international was quick to insist that the Ivory Coast forward needs more time to settle in at the Emirates before he delved into his own struggles at United.

Evra of course enjoyed a great career with the club from 2006 to 2014 but it didn't start out on the best footing, with the former left-back explaining how Ferguson dealt with him following a rough start.

 

“You have to give time to Pepe because I believe in this player. I think he just needs to realise the Premier League is completely different to the French league," Evra told Sky Sports.

“You should be more stronger so maybe he should go into the gym. The problem is that he is under pressure. I want to see if he will be mentally strong enough like myself.

“I came to Manchester and my first six months, even (Paul) Scholes was saying he thought I was a joker and we should sell him back to AS Monaco.

“But it made me stronger. Me and (Nemanja) Vidic when we played a reserve game some people were saying we were so poor but after it we proved them that they were wrong. Why? Because I worked hard in the summer. So let's see if mentally Pepe will be ready. But I believe in this player.

 

“It is completely different in this new world. Even me when I played my first game with Manchester and I eat some beans and some pasta and I feel sick in my room - and I was like going to say to Sir Alex Ferguson 'look I am not ready to play'.

"But I was scared they will say he is not a man he doesn't want to play in a derby. I played that game and was substituted after 45 minutes and I remember Ferguson was like: 'Now you sit and you watch and learn English football'.

"So it was a tough time. Even my agent was like we made a big mistake to sign you for Manchester United. But I was really strong mentally to prove everyone wrong, because I am really proud. And I did it." 


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