Monday Jun 22, 2020. 13:00
Ivory Coast international Nicolas Pepe has to generate fear in Arsenal’s opponents according to club manager Mikel Arteta.
The speedy winger was on the scoresheet during the Gunners’ 2-1 defeat to Brighton and Hove Albion in an English Premier League match over the weekend.
Arteta, who hails from Spain, believes Pepe possesses all the traits to become a major attacking threat.
“It is clear that [Pepe’s] consistency has not been at the level that he can produce, he is the first one to accept that, that’s what I’m going to demand from a player of his level, calibre,” Arteta said on the club’s official website.
“He has to be producing every three days at the level that he can be. He has to be a player that makes the difference, that is a threat, generates fear in the opponents and gives us a big threat in the final third and his work-rate has to be related as well with that kind of performance.
Arteta praised Pepe, who has netted five goals in 25 Premier League matches this term which is his debut season in England.
“He knows that. He is such a nice kid, trying really hard and you have to respect the timing, the way he has adapted for the first year as well. A lot happened to him and we have to understand that and he is willing and I’m sure we are going to get the best out of him, I’m convinced of that,” he added.
“It’s taking those flash moments into a consistent mode and that for a creative wide player to do it is a big task so every detail has to be [right] because it makes huge difference and his mentality as well.
“His mindset has to be all the time like that. He needs to win the game for the team and he is one of the players that we have in the squad that has to do it and take that responsibility.”
Pepe will be looking to inspire the Gunners to a win over Southampton on Thursday.