Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta believes Nicolas Pepe's adaptation period at the Emirates Stadium is over.
Pepe has struggled to rediscover his form since signing for Arsenal from Lille in the summer of 2019 for a club-record fee of £72million. The 25-year-old has however begun to show potential in his recent outings for the Gunners and Arteta says there are no excuses for him not to continue with his fine form.
"I think he needed to do that, yes," Arteta responded when asked about Pepe changing his mindset.
"He needed a period of adaptation and that is gone now. So we cannot rely on adaptation again, now it is about performance and he can do it. He has got the players to support him, a manager that trusts him, he has got all the staff that are willing to help him and all the teammates who really like him because he is a really likable character, so there are no excuses."
Arteta on his private conversation with Pepe
"Probably the biggest thing is when you see that you don’t play and what you have to do to play and then when you do it, you play. Nico has this ability – it depends on him, we can help him as much as we want but he needs to have the right mindset and consistency to do what he can do."
"Because that is the level that we are going to ask of him, the level I am asking of him – if it is something below that he is not going to play. But if he does what he can do he will have a big chance to play because he has got incredible ability."
Pepe was on target on Thursday evening as Arsenal beat Slavia Praha 4-0 on Wednesday evening. The strike was his second in his last three games for the Gunners.
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