Wednesday Jan 13, 2021. 08:55
Ivorian star Nicolas Pepe needs to be consistent in order to excel at Arsenal according to club manager Mikel Arteta.
The skillful winger is at risk of becoming a £72 million flop at the English giants having failed to live up to expectations since he joined the club in August 2019.
Pepe was snapped up by the Gunners from French side Lille OSC in a club-record fee of £72 million eclipsing the previous record of £56 million for Gabonese superstar Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
The 25-year-old has netted just 13 goals from 63 matches across all competitions for Arsenal and Arteta has vowed to help him improve.
“We need to help him to (succeed). In order to do that he needs minutes, he needs consistency in the team and when he has that,” Pepe said on Goal.
“He needs to show he is capable of doing it. Let’s see how the next few months develop.”
Pepe was often let down by his first touch and finishing during Arsenal’s 2-0 win over Newcastle United in the FA Cup match on Sunday and he was substituted during extra-time.
“I think it is hard to make a judgement on some players that haven’t played many minutes over the last two or three weeks and to throw them in and expect them to be the best player on the pitch,” he added.
“I don’t think it happens and Nico tried. He tried all the game and had some really good moments – moments where he could have scored two or three goals.
“In a normal circumstance and with his ability in those positions, he puts the ball in the back of the net. He didn’t do it but I think his contribution overall was good.”
Pepe and his Arsenal teammates will face Crystal Palace in a Premier League clash on Thursday.