£100,000-a-week Arsenal forward demands regular first-team football

By | November 13, 2020

Nicolas Pepe admits he is frustrated with his lack of playing time at the Emirates Stadium this campaign. Ivory Coast international has shown flashes of his talent since his club-record £72m move from Lille last year but has struggled to secure a regular role under the Spanish manager.

Nicolas has started only one PL match this campaign and was given only 25 minutes to make an impact in Gunners 3-0 defeat to Aston Villa on Sunday evening. Pepe says he is unhappy with his lack of minutes at the London giants and has revealed that the Spanish manager is keen for him to show more concentration during games.

The 25-year-old forward has played 12 games in all tournaments for the Gunners this campaign and has hit the back of the net three times. ‘My goal is to play more. Have a little more playing time,’ the Ivorian forward said. ‘A player who plays is happy. For me, I would like to play a little more to find a smile again.’

‘Arteta wants me to be 100 per cent focused during the 90 minutes of the match. ‘Afterwards, I see during training that I will be a substitute the following weekend. But the coach speaks to me, he also has assistants who are there for that. But it is frustrating for any player to be on the bench.’

Nicolas also admits he does not want to see his role reduced to being just an impact substitute for the Gunners. ‘The coach makes his choices,’ said Pepe. ‘It’s up to me to show him that I don’t have that role.’