‘Pepe Must Fight To Start At Arsenal’- Arsene Wenger
Former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has warned Nicolas Pepe that he will have to fight for his place in the team if his form does not improve.
Pepe, who joined from Lille for a reported club-record fee of £72million in the transfer window, has been criticised for a sluggish start to his Gunners career.
The 24-year-old has scored once in 10 appearances in all competitions and has only completed 90 minutes in a Premier League match on four occasions.
With youngsters such as Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli having impressed in attacking roles this season, Wenger believes Pepe could start to come under pressure for a spot in Unai Emery’s starting line-up.
“I like the player and I thought it was a good decision [to sign him],” Wenger told Omnisport. “He’s not yet completely adapted and you have to give him some time. He looks a little bit to be playing not with the freedom he did in France at the moment.
“I see some characteristics of his game, especially off the ball, that don’t happen at the moment. On the other hand, I must say we have good young players who can play on the flanks, [and] that he will have a fight to keep his position.”