‘It’s frustrating’: Nicolas Pepe sends message to Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta
Nicolas Pepe opens up about his recent lack of playing time under Mikel Arteta at Arsenal
Nicolas Pepe has admitted that he has been frustrated by his recent lack of playing time for Arsenal.
The Ivory Coast international has found his first-team opportunities to be somewhat limited under Mikel Arteta this season so far, with Pepe having only started one game in the Premier League this term.
The 25-year-old has scored three goals and made two assists in all competitions for the north London side, but he has only made four starts in total.
The attacker will clearly be keen to prove himself as worthy of a regular starting spot in the Arsenal team to Arteta in the coming weeks and months as he bids to try and help the Gunners enjoy a strong season.
Pepe came on to play the final 25 minutes of Arsenal’s disappointing 3-0 loss at the hands of Aston Villa at The Emirates on Sunday night.
And the Ivorian has admitted that he has been left frustrated by his lack of opportunities in the first team by Arteta in recent weeks.
Speaking in an interview quoted by Metro, Pepe said: “My goal is to play more. 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.”
He added: “The coach makes his choices. It’s up to me to show him that I don’t have that role.”
Pepe will be hoping to feature for Arsenal when the Gunners return to Premier League action after the international break with a trip to face Leeds United.
The Gunners are currently 11th in the Premier League table.