“ His consistency has not been at the level he can produce ”: Mikel Arteta tells Nicolas Pepe, the Arsenal record of 72 million pounds, that he must meet his requirements after leaving it on the bench in Manchester City
- Nicolas Pepe was abandoned by Mikel Arteta for the loss of Arsenal to Manchester City
- Ivorian striker is Gunners’ all-time record at £ 72 million
- Pepe, 22, suffered a mixed Premier League campaign this quarter
- Arteta recognizes the quality and the potential of the player but questions his pace of work
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta challenged Nicolas Pepe to meet his stringent requirements if he wants to return to Arsenal’s starting lineup.
Ivorian winger is Gunners record, signed for Lille £ 72 million last summer, but has failed to define a regular sport in the club’s starting lineup since arriving in north London .
Pepe was pulled from the Gunners who lost to Manchester City on Wednesday, while young teenager Bukayo Saka started in the usual 22-year-old right-hand role.
Arsenal coach Mikel Arteta (right) called on Nicolas Pepe (left) to be more consistent
Ivorian winger retained by Arteta for Arsenal defeat in Manchester City this week
Speaking before Arsenal’s trip to Brighton on Saturday, Arteta told Metro: “ It is clear that his [Pepe’s] consistency has not been at the level it can produce, ”
“He is the first to accept it. This is what I will demand from a player of his level and his caliber.
“He has to produce every three days at the level he can be.”
After scoring 22 Ligue 1 goals for Lille last season, Pepe contributed to his goals in his first Premier League campaign.
The Ivorian has only scored four league goals since joining Arsenal, but has also added six assists in his 24 Premier League games to date.
Pepe has had a mixed Premier League campaign, scoring just four goals so far
Still, Arteta wants to see more than just goal contributions in Pepe’s game, Arsenal’s head coach looking for a better winger work rate.
Arteta added: “ He must be a player who can make a difference, it is a threat, which generates fear in the opponent and gives us a great threat in the last third.
“His pace of work must also be linked to this kind of performance. He knows it.
“He’s such a nice boy.” He’s trying really hard. You also have to accept the timing and the way he adapted for the first year.
“A lot has happened to him and we have to understand that. He wants it and I am sure we will make the most of it. I’m convinced.
The Spaniard recognizes the potential of Pepe, but called on the 22-year-old to take more responsibility on the field as Arsenal seeks to fight for a place in the Champions League in the run-in of the season.
72 million pound man struggles to land in Gunners starting lineup all season
Arteta recognizes potential of 22-year-old but told Pepe to take more responsibility
Arteta said: “ It takes the flash moments in a consistent fashion. This, for a large-scale creative player, is a huge task. Every detail should be taken into account as it makes a huge difference.
“His mentality too, his state of mind must always be like that; to win the match for the team.
“He is one of the players on the team who can and must take responsibility.”
Arsenal will travel to Brighton on Saturday to close the gap on the first four to five points.
A victory at Amex stadium would also move the Gunners three points from Manchester United to fifth place, which could be enough to secure Champions League football for next season if Europe’s ban on Manchester City is not canceled next month.