By Noel Whelan

24th Nov, 2020 | 12:14pm

'Cry all you want Arsenal fans' - Exclusive: Ex-Leeds ace destroys so-called world star

Noel Whelan has slammed so-called global star Nicolas Pepe for his form and conduct in the thrilling draw between Leeds United and Arsenal.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, the former Leeds striker and boyhood Whites fan claimed there was no doubt the 25-year-old deserved to be dismissed for headbutting Ezgjan Alisoki.

Pepe was sent off after 52 minutes when he put his head into Alioski’s face after a series of niggly exchanges between them.

Referee Anthony Taylor did not see the off-the-ball incident but after consulting the VAR monitor he gave the Gunners’ record signing his marching orders.

Whelan told Football Insider: “It’s a red card, whichever way you look at it.

“He’s said to be one of the top players in the world, and he’s been bought for top money and he did nothing in the game.

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“I’ve been really disappointed since he signed for Arsenal, I’ve not seen anything from him – glimpses, moments that’s it. For the money he’s being paid I expect him to control games and do a lot more.

“It’s just frustration because he’s tightly marked but good players are going to get that. You cannot react in that way, he should be better than that.

“His petulance came out and there was no doubt about Allioski got under his skin and he’s reacted. That is one place where VAR came in handy, it was a red card.

“Whether there’s an exaggeration or not, the intent is there to put his head into another person.

“You can cry all you want Arsenal fans, it is what it is. If somebody had done that to Pepe you’d be crying out for a red card, you wouldn’t be grumbling then.”

In other Leeds United news, a club is expected to trigger the release clause of a 28-year-old with no future at Elland Road.