Mikel Arteta explains how he’ll get the best out of Nicolas Pepe at Arsenal
Mikel Arteta says Nicolas Pepe still needs time to adapt to the rigours of English football at Arsenal
Mikel Arteta believes that Nicolas Pepe still needs time to adapt to the rigours of English football with Arsenal.
The Ivory Coast international is currently settling into life at The Emirates after having signed for the Gunners from Lille in the summer transfer window last year.
Pepe is yet to really find his feet in England despite having shown some glimpses of the quality he possesses at times this term.
The 24-year-old attacker had scored a total of five goals in all competitions before the home clash with Newcastle United on Sunday, and he will be hoping to add to that tally in the final few months of the campaign.
Arteta has been working with Pepe for the last couple of months after having taken over at Arsenal at the end of December.
And the Spanish head coach believes that the Gunners will have to be patient with their club-record signing.
Speaking in an interview with Arsenal’s website before the Newcastle United game, Arteta said: “First of all he needs the right structure behind him to be able to provide the moments of quality and winning games, whether it’s assists, goals, dribbles or whatever it is.
“Afterwards he needs to have a much clearer picture of the things that are happening on the pitch, why they are happening and how he can solve them. I think he’s in the process of doing that.
“He hasn’t played 12 or 15 games in a row, which is a massive thing for a player in those positions which are more difficult on the pitch to make an impact in games, he needs to earn that with his performances.
“He was in France and was one of the biggest stars in the league. He made an incredible year. He comes here and a lot of people didn’t even know him and you paid that price tag.
“So for him to put his brain into this picture and solve all this is not easy. And he’s a really young player.”
Arsenal are in Europa League action on Thursday night when they take on Olympiakos in the first leg of their last 32 clash in Greece.
They will then host Everton at The Emirates in the Premier League next weekend.