Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has recently outlined what he wants to see from Nicolas Pepe.
Pepe’s Arsenal struggles
Pepe made the switch to north London last summer, on the back of a sensational campaign with French outfit Lille.
The winger notched 22 goals and 11 assists in 38 league ties last term, a return that understandably led to a fairly hefty price-tag being placed on the Ivorian’s head.
The fee for which Arsenal eventually managed to secure Pepe was a whopping club-record £72m.
However, Pepe’s time on the books of the Gunners to date has proven rather disappointing.
The 25-year-old has come nowhere close to matching his return from last season, and whilst he has shown flashes of quality, Pepe, for the most part, has simply not been up to scratch.
Arteta sets Pepe challenge
Mikel Arteta is also seemingly well aware that Pepe isn’t playing anywhere near his best.
This is evidenced by the fact that the Spaniard opted to leave Pepe on the bench earlier this week vs Manchester City, despite his side trailing for most of the game, and the availability of 5 substitutes.
Now, though, as outlined above, Arteta has opened up on what he expects from Arsenal’s record signing.
Speaking ahead of the Gunners’ clash with Brighton on Saturday, Arteta claimed that it is clear Pepe has not been consistent this season, before adding that the winger must start producing his best every three days, whilst also being a player who makes a difference for the club:
“It’s clear that his consistency has not been at the level he can produce. He’s the first to accept that. That’s what I’m going to demand of a player of his level and calibre.
“He has to be producing every three days at the level that he can be. He has to be a player that can make the difference, that is a threat, that generates fear in the opponent and gives us a big threat in the final third. His work rate has to be related as well with that kind of performance.
“He knows that. He’s such a nice kid. He’s trying really hard. You have to accept as well, the timing and the way he has adapted for the first year.
“A lot has happened for him and we have to understand that. He’s willing and I’m sure we’re going to get the best out of that. I’m convinced of that.”
Quotes via football.london.
This article was edited by Conor Laird.
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