Unai Emery replies when asked if Nicolas Pepe will start for Arsenal v Burnley

Arsenal manager Unai Emery replies when asked if Nicolas Pepe will make his full debut against Burnley on Saturday

The Sport Review staff
By The Sport Review staff
Arsenal signing Nicolas Pepe (Photo: Arsenal / Instagram)
Arsenal signing Nicolas Pepe (Photo: Arsenal / Instagram)

Unai Emery says he hasn’t made a decision about whether Arsenal’s record signing Nicolas Pepe will start against Burnley at The Emirates on Saturday afternoon.

The Ivory Coast international was a second-half substitute in Arsenal’s 1-0 victory over Newcastle United at St James’ Park last weekend to get his first taste of Premier League football.

Pepe moved to Arsenal in a club record £72m deal from Ligue 1 side Lille following months of speculation linking the Ivorian with a move to the English top fight.

The 22-year-old scored 22 times and made 11 assists in his final season in Ligue 1 for Lille, which has understandably built excitement around his potential impact at Arsenal.

Speaking at his pre-match media conference about whether Pepe will start his first Premier League game in his first potential outing at The Emirates on Saturday lunchtime, Emery said:

“I am going to decide on Friday because now is a small difference for my decision about the player. It depends how they will be [on Friday] in the training.

“But Pepe is training with us, is improving with us, is knowing us, our idea, our style, is able to understand his team-mates better.

“Physically also, getting better. He’s more close to helping us than he was at the beginning, after giving us an impact during the match.”

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored Arsenal’s second-half winner in a 1-0 victory over Newcastle United in the Premier League at St James’ Park last weekend.

Arsenal are looking to secure a return to the Champions League this term by finishing in the Premier League’s top four following a three-season absence.

The north London side haven’t won the Premier League title since 2003-04, when the Gunners managed to complete the entire season of fixtures without defeat.

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