Arteta's message to Nicolas Pepe
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Arteta's message to Nicolas Pepe

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta is fully behind Nicolas Pepe after the winger was red-carded for a  headbutt incident against Leeds United last week on Sunday. 

The Ivory Coast international has struggled for game time under Arteta, but the Spaniard is convinced he has a future at the club.  

Speaking ahead of Thursday night's Europa League clash away to Molde, Arteta voiced his support for Pepe but urged him to improve on key aspects of his game.  

"No, it's absolutely not [the end of his Arsenal career after the red card]," Arteta said. "It's not about that and I don't like that type of statement.

"I will give Nico my full support all the time. He knows where he has to improve and we all know his qualities. He has some responsibility, I have a lot of responsibility, which is to get the best out of him and get the best position for him, the best areas where he can do what he can do with the ball. I cannot fault his effort at all.

"You see the way he strives for the team, the way he's working, it's been the best since he's been at the club. But there have been some aspects he can do better in because he has the ability.

"That's where I'm going to put the pressure on him to deliver what he can do. To say it's a threat for him to finish his [Arsenal] career... it's not at all like that.

"The club made a huge investment on him and people expect a lot from him because he has this quality. I said many times with the strikers and attacking players, it's the most difficult thing to be consistent when you have to create when you have to unlock the door when you have to score goals or get assists.

Pepe is suspended for domestic action but could feature on Thursday night as the  Gunners play away to Molde in the Europa League. 

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