Ray Parlour reckons Nicolas Pepe's lack of consistency is making it "easy" for Mikel Arteta to leave him on Arsenal's bench.
The Gunners' record signing was an unused substitute in their 1-0 victory over Manchester United last weekend, their first away win against one of their 'Big Six' rivals in five years.
Pepe - who cost the north Londoners a whopping £72million - has only made one league start this season, with Arteta opting to hand him starting berths in the Carabao Cup and the Europa League.
The Ivorian winger turned in a mixed display in Arsenal's 4-1 victory over FC Molde on Thursday night, ending the evening with a goal and an assist after a mistaken-ridden first half.
And the former Lille man has yet to convince Parlour he's worthy of a permanent place in the starting XI.
"I think it was a game of two halves for Pepe," the former Gunners midfielder said during an appearance on talkSPORT. "I thought first half he was pretty poor.
"He picked up second half, but you can’t do that (drift) when you are in big games you have to be effective for the 90 minutes. That’s what Mikel Arteta is saying.
"You’ve got to play your part throughout the game. I think Saka does that.
If you look at the way he plays he’s always involved in the good parts of Arsenal’s game going forwards and defensively.
"Pepe’s just got to get that bit more consistency during the game because you can go missing.
"You can’t have missing players because against the big sides you have to have everyone on that pitch doing their work and being involved in a good team performance, that’s what he’s probably trying to say there against Pepe.
Notable transfer fees for British players
- 1893: Aston Villa kicked off the big money transfers with tier £100 cheque to land Willie Groves from West Bromwich Albion.
- 1904: Alf Commons moved from Sunderland to Middlesbrough for £1,000 and sparked a national outrage.
- 1928: Arsenal bought David Jack from Bolton Wanderers for £10,890
- 1957: John Charles moves from Leeds to Juventus shatters the transfer record at £65,000
- 1961: Denis Law joins Manchester United from Torino for £115,000
- 1970: Martin Peters joins Tottenham from West Ham for £200,000
- 1977: Kevin Keegan goes from Liverpool to Hamburg for £500,000
- 1979: Trevor Francis becomes first £1m player with switch from Birmingham to Nottingham Forest.
- 1996: Alan Shearer goes from Blackburn to Newcastle for £15m
- 2013: Gareth Bale switches from Tottenham to Real Madrid for £86m
"First half yesterday it was like his brother was playing. Second half he’s turned up and got his goal.
The price tag doesn’t help, it was a lot of money. There’s going to be more pressure when the fee is a little bit higher.
"I just want to see him do it five or six games in a row. He’s got to have such a good game that Mikel Arteta can’t leave him out.
"At the moment, Pepe is giving Mikel Arteta an easy option to leave him out.
"He’s too inconsistent he doesn’t do it in every game. The big players, going back to Spurs, Son [Heung-Min], he does it every game.
"He makes a difference every single game, that’s what Pepe doesn’t do."
Pepe and his Arsenal team-mates will be back in action this evening, welcoming Dean Smith's Aston Villa to the Emirates.