Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has vouched to help winger Nikolas Pepe succeed at the London-based club.
This is after the Ivorian received massive criticism from fans across the world for his slow start to life in the English Premier League after his club-record 72 million euros move from French Ligue 1 side LOSC Lille to the Gunners last year August.
Pepe has scored just seven goals in the 42 Premier League games he has featured for Arsenal since his arrival at Emirates and this has put the 25-year-old under a lot of pressure going to the second half of the season.
Speaking to Sky Sports, Arteta stood by Pepe saying he needs a little help to go into the right direction and make things work.
“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, he needs to show he is capable of doing it,” he said.
The Spaniard is hoping Pepe will turn things around as the season continues. He believes with more game time the former Angers player will hit the right gears.
“Let’s see how the next few months develop. I think it is hard to make 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 continued.
“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,” he concluded.
Pepe has found the back of the net three times in the Europa League this season and made 11 league appearances in the Premier League scoring two goals.
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By Prince Sobayeni