Mikel Arteta warns Nicolas Pepe to improve his consistency and CAN’T use the excuse to adapt to the Premier League following the recent £ 72 million man form rise.
- Nicolas Pepe scored in both of Arsenal’s Europa League ties with Slavia Prague
- The Ivorian has a double-digit season goal at Arsenal for the first time
- The 25-year-old struggled with consistency and took time to get used to
- Arteta has told Pepe that he can no longer use this as an excuse now that his form is over
Mikel Arteta has warned Nicolas Pepe that he now has no more excuses to justify his £ 72 million price tag following a resurgence in form for the Ivorian winger.
The 25-year-old has enjoyed a good few weeks in North London, scoring in both Arsenal quarter-finals in the Europa League over Slavia Prague and has started eight of The Gunners’ last 12 league matches since the end of January.
Arteta admitted that it took Pepe time to adjust to life at Arsenal, but the Gunners boss admitted that the winger’s recent form means he now has to show the consistency it takes to be a regular star. to stay.
Mikel Arteta (right) has told Nicolas Pepe (left) that he now needs to be consistent at Arsenal
Pepe scored in both Arsenal quarter-finals in the Europa League against Slavia Prague
The Arsenal manager said before Fulham’s visit on Sunday: ‘Nico has this skill – it depends on him, we can help him as much as we want, but he needs to have the right mindset and consistency to do what he can.
‘Because that’s the level we’re going to ask of him, the level I’m asking of him – if it’s a little lower he’s not going to play, but if he does what he can, he has a great chance of playing because he has a incredible power.
He just had to change his way of thinking. He needed an adjustment period and it is now over. So we can’t rely on adaptation again, now it’s about performance and he can do it.
He has the players to support him, a manager who trusts him, he has all the staff who want to help him and all the teammates who really like him because he’s a nice character so there are no excuses. . ‘
Pepe (right) has scored ten goals for Arsenal this season – two years after his £ 72m move from Lille
PEPE’S SEASON STATS
Spell: 39 Goals: 10 Assists: 5
* Statistics are from all competitions
Pepe’s most recent Arsenal goal – a cool dink to open the scoring at Slavia Prague in the Gunners’ 4-0 win that earned them a Europa League semi-final – was his tenth of the season.
The Ivorian made only eight in his debut season in North London, but managed to pick up double digits on assists in all competitions.
Despite starting most of his games on the right side of the attack during his first season, Pepe was occasionally used by Arteta on the left side for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Gabriel Martinelli this season.
His two goals against Slavia Prague mean Arsenal are three Europa League victories away from qualifying for next season’s Champions League.
The Gunners are currently ninth in the Premier League table, but could move seven points behind West Ham in fourth place if they beat Fulham on Sunday.