Arsenal’s Nicolas Pepe admits to being unhappy over lack of playing time

Arsenal’s Nicolas Pepe admits to being unhappy over lack of playing time

Pepe’s Arsenal stint

Arsenal secured Nicolas Pepe’s services in the summer of 2019, for a club-record £72m.

Despite having enjoyed an outstanding season the campaign prior with Lille, though, Pepe’s first year in England proved pretty underwhelming.

The Ivorian struggled to hold down a regular starting spot last term, as well as failing to produce at anywhere near the level seen during his days at Lille.

The new season, meanwhile, has seen a similar tale unfold for the 25-year-old.

Pepe has scored two and assisted two in just three Europa League outings so far this season.

In the Premier League, though, the story is very much different.

Arsenal’s Nicolas Pepe admits to being unhappy over lack of playing time

LONDON, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 24: Nicolas Pepe of Arsenal during the UEFA Europa League group F match between Arsenal FC and Vitoria Guimaraes at Emirates Stadium on October 24, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Matthew Ashton – AMA/Getty Images)

Pepe wants to find a smile again

Pepe has managed to feature in seven of Arsenal’s eight league outings to this point.

However, just one of these appearances saw Pepe handed a starting berth.

And now, with the international break upon us, he has been voicing his frustration at this lack of playing time.

The winger even went as far as to reveal that he would like to play more in order to simply find a reason to smile again:

“My goal is to play more. To have a little more playing time.

“A player who plays is happy. For me, I would like to play a little more to find a smile again.

“He (Arteta) wants me to be 100 per cent focused during the 90 minutes of the match. Afterwards, I see during training that I will be a substitute the following weekend.

“But the coach speaks to me, he also has assistants who are there for that. But it is frustrating for any player to be on the bench.

“A super-sub role? The coach makes his choices. It’s up to me to show him that I don’t have that role.”

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This article was edited by Conor Laird.

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